Reflection for Remembrance Sunday


My dear Friends:

Today, we are celebrating Remembrance Sunday. A day in which, with liturgies, parades and ceremonies, in more usual times, we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by the countless men and women so that we can ‘have lives’ and live those lives in freedom and peace. For me, on this day, it is as if the world stops rotating for a few minutes. Those gallant, self- sacrificing, heroic men and women join us in a collective human quest for what life, and living life, are supposed to be about. And yet...

I remember the writings of the great Lebanese writer, Gribran. He wrote a piece on “Good Friday” in which humankind awoke for a few minutes from its passive slumber and looked with great sympathy and pathos upon the crucified Jesus. People, who were engaged in their various all-consuming occupations, marinated in the various demands of life and living, cast a glance at Jesus, then returned to the routine of their lives unchanged. As I look at the political scenarios around the world, the civil wars tearing peoples and nations apart, hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing their homes and livelihoods in pursuit of food, safety and a chance to ‘live” – and seas turned into cemeteries as many die in this quest...The challenge for us, in creating a monument to those who sacrificed their lives that we might live, is to try be political aware and engaged in the building of peace. That recent movie, Official Secrets gives one a lot to think about.

Some of the horror and reality of war is summed up in a letter to my aunt, written on the 22nd July 1916, by S. L. Gordon, a comrade of my uncle William, who was killed on the 23 June, 1916: ”I am surprised there was not more of us killed, it was a very rough day in the firing line, and we were on a working party, when we were started a short time the shell came that was the cause of poor Willie's death, he only lasted after he got it, up to the time he died he kept saying, God bless me. I don't think I can't say any more at present.” May the Lord help us to truly appreciate the sacrifices of so many by being builders of peace within our country and world today.

Love, Peace and Blessings.

 Fr. Antony