The Chaplain's Column - April 2022

The Chaplain's Column - April 2022

The Chaplain’s Column – April 2022

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It is an historical irony that ANZAC Day always falls on St Mark’s Day and usually in the Easter season for Mark was not just an evangelist – the writer of the gospel that bears his name – but also a martyr who died for his faith. It is also a date that usually falls in the season of Easter while Easter itself, of course, speaks of sacrifice and unmerited suffering the very elements of the story of that day in 1915 when Allied troops stormed ashore at Gallipoli. The idea of suffering and sacrifice could be seen as suitable background for a failed military campaign that sacrificed of so many young lives, but it is more than that as it speaks to the heart of the human psyche where violence is seen as an answer to intractable problems. Thus, the beautiful, peaceful acts of creation, as recorded in the opening chapters of Genesis, is quickly followed by an act of violence – the death of Able at the hands of his brother Cain. A more contemporary example would be the suffering of the people of Ukraine at the hands of the Russian government. There is no glib or easy answer to such political or international problems but if we are to tackle these pressing problems of your own day, we cannot simply turn to violence. Yet we must honour those who caught in the maelstrom of war who suffered and died for their mates and their country as John Watson in his 1978 book, Holy Persons and Holy Days, wrote:

It is often said that April Twenty-fifth, Nineteen-fifteen was a day of national growth for Australia, yet others have described the Gallipoli campaign as futile…Christians of all ages will recall that bravery and heroism are not conditioned, or reduced, by political or military ineptitude. The young Australians of Gallipoli – nearly eight thousand dead and twenty thousand wounded – died for Australia and their bravery redeems the day.”

Fr Patrick Duckworth
School Chaplain

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace