Today I want to blog about the situation in W.A. and the Perth Metropolitan region (incl. ‘Peel’ aka Mandurah and surrounds), I want to link the circumstances of a ‘snap lockdown’ for 3 days to the reasons for and purpose of reflecting society-wide, on the Armed Services of Australia and New Zealand – colloquially still known as ANZACS which stood for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps circa 1915 in WW1.
To my mind, its a noble thing that many gathered and celebrated across the country for recognition of Armed Service and the toll this takes upon individuals and communities. But as a practical measure, we see the limitations and imperfections of our human experience in both the medical precautions we are obliged to take with invisible and contagious infections and also the precautions we must take with different peoples and their incompatible ideologies and positions which result in war and military conflicts still occurring to this day.
In our neighbourhood and I’m sure in many others, certain dedicated citizens woke early and observed a ‘dawn service’ of their own. As a Catholic I was unable to attend Mass today and so I did my ‘own’ version with a reading of the Gospel focussed on Jesus as ‘Good Shepherd’ who knows us ‘His flock’ and cares for us all individually, laying down His own life to save ours, in a similar way, praying for the ANZACS as well as all who have died in the horror of war, tragedy of human suffering and pointless conflict especially, which continues to this era and sadly I believe we have ‘forgotten’ or never learned more likely, the proper lessons from the past and conflicts such as WW1.
I am truly aware that any limited sufferings I or most in our region suffered these few days are miniscule in comparison to the immense weight and significance of past sufferings of our ancestors and of Jesus in particular. I am reading a historical book on Jesus era in human history called Dominion by Tom Holland currently (thanks to Mr Chris Dunn my former colleague and friend – for this thoughtful gift) which highlights the shameful, degrading nature of crucifixion, but I also note that ANZACS and Turks and many others both before and after Gallipoli in 1915 have suffered terrible fates too. I pray today as on all days for freedom from sin, death and evil to be the eternal inheritance of the elect, the body of Christ, the Christian people, who is anyone and everyone who freely submits to Jesus as Lord, and whom God in His infinite mercy and justice, deems worthy of salvation. That is truly what we should not forget.