On this ANZAC Day, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (12: 23-28) in which Jesus says to his disciples “Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified”.
Today, Fr Paul shares the story of a young priest: Jeremiah Joseph Dineen (pictured in Fr Paul’s background today) was born on 20 June 1914 in Rathmore, Ireland. He came to Australia as a priest and became a priest of the Lismore Diocese. In 1942 Jerry enlisted with the Australian Army as a Padre and saw active service until he was discharged on 14 May 1946. When he was discharged, he achieved the rank of Captain and was discharged from the 2nd Third Field regiment. Fr Paul remembers Jerry today especially, because for him, that is what ANZAC Day is all about, remembering. Lest we forget. For Fr Paul ANZAC Day is about remembering all those who have given their lives in the defence of this, our country. It’s about remembering all those who fought and died that we might have the security and peace, the freedom and justice that we enjoy today. For him ANZAC Day is about remembering all those men and women who live in suffering and pain as a result of their generosity in protecting our country. For Fr Paul ANZAC Day is about remembering all those men and women whose spirits were crushed and whose minds were deranged by the horrors which they themselves saw and they saw others pass through. For him ANZAC Day is about remembering doctors and nurses, red cross workers and all the volunteers who served our sick, wounded and exhausted servicemen and women. For Fr Paul ANZAC Day is also about remembering all those we fought against, those dead, those still living who may now be a part of our country, and those who still live over the waters. As we remember them today, Fr Paul prays that we may have a spirit of forgiveness and peace in our hearts. For him ANZAC Day is also about remembering all those who are currently serving in our defence forces and who may find themselves on missions in many a foreign country. For those of us who are Christians, we look to the model that is Christ Jesus and his love and service for all. In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, ‘Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends’. Through these words Jesus leads us to see the value in suffering pain and sorrow but, more importantly, he leads us to see the value in loving one another. With this message of Jesus in mind, Fr Paul says, today we as a nation turn to God because at every war memorial we pray, he hopes our prayers (on this special day when so many people do pray to God) are for harmony and peace, not only for ourselves but for the whole world, especially at this time for the people of Ukraine. Fr Paul prays today that God will continue to watch over us, guide us, protect us, love us and bless each of us and our nation as today we pray and we remember. Lest we forget.