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From the Director of Faith and Mission

17 November 2023

Let love be genuine; hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another

Derived from Romans 12:9-10

The end of October and the beginning of November has been a time of prayerful contemplation. Our Year 12’s began their final exams and as a faith community we have reflected on All Saint’s Day, All Soul’s Day and Remembrance Day.

All Saint’s Day is when the Church honours every saint, to recognise them for their heroic love for God. It is also a time to remember all those who have shown heroic love for God but have not yet been recognised by being granted sainthood.

On All Soul’s Day, we remember all people who have passed away and pray that God has recognised when they lived the virtues of Jesus, and that they find eternal rest in Heaven. During our time on earth, we are all called to strive to be Christ-like by living all the virtues as best as possible. Virtues seen in Jesus are Love, Service, Hope, Courage, Compassion, Reconciliation/Forgiveness, Justice, and Peace.

On both All Saint’s and All Soul’s Day we had the opportunity to light a candle in the Chapel and say a prayer. We also had the Book of the Dead, a book where anyone could write the name of a loved one who had passed away and that they were thinking about.

These two special days of prayer allowed our community to unite in love for those who came before us and recognise them, their spirit and gifts that were shared with loved ones, while on earth.

We continued the honour of praying for those who have died, by remembering all people who have perished because of war, conflict and hostilities from the First World War, to present day. Remembrance Day is not just a day we remember Australian and New Zealand soldiers, for that is ANZAC Day. Remembrance Day has us remember all people, military and civilian, friend or foe who have died. In this time, where war is bringing suffering and death to so many around the world, it is sad to think that despite First World War being called “The war to end all wars,” we as a fraternal community, created by love, for love, to love, still struggle to be action for peace.

Reflecting on Paul’s letter to the Romans, I wonder if he would have ever imagined that some 2000 years after writing this and after Jesus, suffered death for the salvation of humanity, that humanity still seeks not to forgive, console, and understand but to control, overpower and destroy.

With Advent fast approaching, a time when we wait in joyful hope of the coming of our Lord, may we all reflect on our own actions as we have the actions of those who came before us, may we pray for peace in this world, as many have done before us, and may we find the love of humanity so that no one need face the horrors of war and death again.

Ode of Remembrance

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Alexandra Higham

Director of Faith and Mission