Two-Minute Homily by Dcn Gary Stone for the Third Sunday of Easter 2023.
“May we give our lives, to offering people in the world around us, a better and more hopeful future.”
- Two-Minute Homily Transcript
Two-Minute Homily TranscriptAuthor: Archdiocese of Brisbane
Every year at this time we celebrate the two largest religious events in our national calendar, Easter and ANZAC Day. It fascinates me that every 25 April, in the cold and dark, millions of Australians will gather, and join in prayer and hymns remembering the life and death, and ongoing service of our service people. After the solemnity of the dawn service, those of us who are veterans will march joyfully through the streets and then come together for some drinks and a meal, and reflect on our experiences.
ANZAC Day is truly an Easter event, a contemporary echo of the witness of Jesus that there is no greater love than to be prepared to lay down our lives for others. This tradition is very similar to Luke’s Gospel story of the two disciples taking a journey to Emmaus. Initially they are downcast, but in reflective dialogue of where their lives might find new purpose, they become aware, their eyes opened, to the presence of Jesus in their midst, and the mission they must now engage upon.
This year I am celebrating ANZAC Day in Timor where more than 35,000 Australian troops have been sent as peacemakers and peacekeepers.
My missionary team, called Veterans Care, take wounded, ill and injured veterans to Timor on a journey similar to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Like them, we travel the roads, reflecting on the experience of our lives, and search for New Life and resurrection.
Now our team doesn’t try to convert others, or to pressure them into coming into church, but rather invites them to be a church, engaged in a practical mission of compassion. To love and help the poorest of our Timorese neighbours. Through engaging in a mission, their eyes are opened to a new purpose and new life, and an awareness of the love of God, that motivates us.
The spirit and service of Jesus, and the spirit and service of the ANZAC’s, both call us to be people of service, and missionary disciples, mindful that Jesus walks alongside us in any efforts to love our neighbours. Engaging in mission can light a fire in our hearts.
Friends, may we give our lives, to offering people in the world around us, a better and more hopeful future. And may we be grateful that the peace and prosperity that we live in today in Australia has been paid for by the sacrifice of others. Lest we forget.