Mission Report – April 26, 2018

April 25, 2018

He is Risen. He is Risen indeed!

Welcome to Term Two and may the joy of Jesus’ Resurrection overflow in the hearts of all in the community of St Patrick’s College. The Church reminds us through the liturgical season that love is God’s victory when the Easter Season lasts fifty days, in contrast to the forty days of Lenten solemnity.

This week we also commemorated Anzac Day with a special assembly. Anzac Day is often a point of discussion and even protest. Is it a celebration of war when we should condemn war at every opportunity? So what are we doing at our Assembly? Why do we seek an experience of unity through the fact and tragedy of war?

We do not share the experiences of those who fought and died (for which we should always be very thankful), so we are not uniting ourselves through a glorification of conflict and death. We do not pretend to share the understanding of what it was like for those who fought and died, so we are not uniting ourselves through a nostalgia for days gone by. We do not share the judgments of those who fought and died – they made their own decisions about what was the responsible thing to do in the complex circumstances they were living. So we are not uniting ourselves through heroic delusions about what we would achieve in war, or that somehow we have magically and effortlessly inherited the same qualities of our ancestors.- – –

What we do share, what is our inheritance from those who fought and died, is the desire for a love that transcends all times and places. The Anzac Day stories that move us so deeply involve people: they are stories of mateship, loyalty, sacrifice and victory over suffering in the drama of real lives. Anzac Day does not glorify military successes. It started with a military failure. Anzac Day is not propaganda but a ritual in the living tradition of stories, told by us, about us, for us, that speak to the deepest desires of our heart. And in the telling we name as the key protagonists those who loved without boundaries, who suffered and endured for friendship and sacrificed for the freedom of others they did not know. This does not happen only in war, but war inevitably brings a focus on the commitments that motivate and direct those involved. They are the values that our Headmaster, Mr Crowley, spoke of in his address.

These people and their stories consequently give focus to the criteria that we use to judge ourselves. These personal stories have emerged into and constitute a national consciousness through which we name our deepest commitments, and by committing and uniting ourselves to the hope in these stories we bring peace and order out of the chaos and death of war.

What is all this if not the story of Easter and the victory of the Cross over suffering and death? Our Catholic faith, in all its ritual, story, richness and depth, is the experience of a love that is stronger than death, and that God will never abandon us no matter what the destructive emptiness of evil throws at us. It is not a guarantee against suffering, but our commitment to love as the source of the courage that will help us endure and transform all suffering. God is with us in all things. We are the people of the Resurrection. He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! –