Friday 24 April 2020
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli This ANZAC Day thousands around Australia will stand outside their dwellings to greet the dawn in a different way. Physically separated, but united.
For Australians of all faiths and none, ANZAC Day is special. We remember the spirit of sacrifice and the times when our whole nation came together, facing fear with courage.
In war, the nation sends out into danger, its soldiers, sailors and air personnel; nurses, doctors and service support. But for those left behind there is great fear.
I heard of one lady who described how, while her husband was away in the Pacific, she worked in her front garden in Lygon Street growing vegetables, and would see the telegram boy on his bicycle turn into the street. Every woman on that street, and in their front yards, would pause and wait, praying that he would not stop for them. She never forgot that fear.
In a much different way, we are again facing fear. We see coffins lined up in other countries, people losing work, those in need becoming needier. We worry for those at risk of COVID-19, for those suffering hardship, and for those grieving.
We admire the courage of those working on the front line of the pandemic, and of the essential workers undertaking those tasks that a modern society needs to continue.
As war brings fear, it also brings courage, both on the front line, and on the home front.
So has it been with this pandemic.
As wars have changed the world – and Australia – so will this pandemic.
I pray that, as in times past, this pandemic will inspire us to come together once again with a truly national heart, to live with a genuine, practical love for our neighbour.
For those of us who are Christians, we are still celebrating Easter. The triumph of love over death, the sacrifice of Jesus which leads to new life, and to hope for all.
Whether we are people of faith or none, we are called to live with courage and generosity; to work for the good of each other, to respect and care for one another, to be witnesses of hope for the world.
This is my prayer for you and our nation on this ANZAC Day.