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Homilies

 

 

10 May 2015
posted by Canon Dakin on 11-05-2015

I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit’. A moment before, Our Lord had said: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches’. It is because we share his life that we are able to love with his love and so bear fruit. That love is defined by self-sacrifice as Jesus, for our sake, surrendered himself to death on the cross.

We are presently observing the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Those five years of war were painful but in the history of our people they may rank as our finest hour. There was a time when we stood alone, and in a weakened condition, against an enemy at the height of his power. The temptation then was to sue for peace and leave Europe to the evil domination of a self-styled master race.  Churchill presented the alternative of suffering and sacrifice. The people of England chose sacrifice. That was a response to an honourable ideal but also an act of collective love towards those people who were suffering under harsh occupation with their freedom curtailed.

War and love hardly go together but war can be the occasion of extraordinary acts of devotion. There was a soldier who literally laid down his life for his friends by covering a mine with his body. There were so many who risked their lives to bring in a wounded comrade.

St John has told us that all love comes from God. Today we thank God not simply for the ending of the war but for the gifts of fortitude and compassion which carried us through and created a spirit which made us a nation united as perhaps never before or since. In that same spirit we will prolong the period of silence at the end of the Bidding Prayers as we remember those who never came back.   

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