Tag Archives: humility

Finding your unique purpose


In the Gospel account this week we hear about the celebration of the birth of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. We know that he was to go on to prophesy the life of Jesus and “prepare the way” for his life. He was chosen in his mother’s womb for this unique ministry, life and ultimately his sacrifice.

This challenges us to reflect on what we are called “to be”.

One of the joys of life may well be discovering the person we can become – not merely the job we want to do – but the quest to find fulfilment and happiness. I have long believed that we are happiest when we do something that intrinsically benefits others.

So what can we learn from this in the coming week?

  • Take the time to listen to God’s call for you.
  • Reflect on the direction life takes us and how we can live out and discover our purpose.
  • Look at how we can live out our faith in a meaningful way.

In the busy lives we live it is easy to miss the point or to forget the reasons we do what we do or feel the pressure to go with the crowd. We should stop and listen to God and as Saint Theresa of Calcutta says just “do it anyway”.

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Forgiveness and humility


Due to the pace of school life at the start of the school year I have only managed to write a short reflection on our themes each fortnight rather than once a week… I’m sorry I haven’t kept up with it so far – maybe a little ironic when reflecting on forgiveness.


What stands out to me is that in reality all of us fall short at times… personally, in our jobs, in our relationships and also in our time for God. We can either give up on any area of these aspects or our lives or can dust ourselves down each day and seek to ask each other, and God, for forgiveness in the areas where we could have done better.

Equally we need to learn how to love and forgive one another. We sometimes see so many images of hatred, division and conflict. The images of conflict from the tragic events in Charlottesville really shocked and saddened me this summer. Perhaps it was the echoes which were more reminiscent of images buried deep in history of the 1960s or divisions of South Africa and apartheid.


What was clear for the world to see was the level of hatred and the fact that there was a lack of leadership in the response. Through apathy we condone this division and hatred. We have a duty in leading, and educating, to challenge and engage people to live a life that builds unity not division.


Nelson Mandela, a hero of mine, had every reason to hate and resent those who imprisoned him and robbed him of the best years of his life yet instead he made a choice to help it form him into the leader that he became of the “rainbow nation”.


We can only meet hatred with love if we are to transform the world and we must have a belief in humanity to achieve this.

After the tragic events in Barcelona we saw how this can be lived out in the power of love and forgiveness. Even in the depths of a mourning family Javier Martinez found the humility and integrity to take the darkest time in grieving for the loss of his 3 year old son and transform it into a symbol of light and hope.

Ultimately this is the same message that Jesus gave. He led with humility and offered love and forgiveness in all He said and did in His life. If we can live this out in some small way each day we are truly making the world a better place, one small step at a time.

A few thoughts for the week ahead…

  • What can we do to ask for or offer forgiveness in our relationships with one another and with God?
  • How can we be liberated by offering forgiveness to others?
  • What can we do to act with humility and how can we be inspired by the example of Jesus?

I hope you all have a really good week and have the opportunity to love, live and forgive in whatever we face each day.

God bless.

Will you be a humble disciple?

Discipleship.jpgWell we’re back…in the full swing of the new school year, so much so that last week I didn’t have the breathing space to write on the first theme of the year, humility. So I am aiming to do two things.

  1. Make a commitment to find the time and space to write a blog reflection each week on our theme for each week. It is good to stop, think and pray.
  2. Look to see if I can offer a 2 for 1 deal by reflecting on the theme of this week, discipleship and link it to humility…

So I will try and keep it simple… if we are serious about faith we are challenged to reflect and follow the example of Jesus in some small way.

Jesus didn’t seek out the good and the great to follow Him but simply invited “normal people” to come and follow Him – this is a call for all of us too. After living alongside Jesus they still made very human mistakes by denying their faith, arguing with one another and failing to understand Jesus’s message for them, most in fact deserting Him at His time of need. This humanity in discipleship should reassure us that it is a message for us too and not an impossible ideal.

If they were to serve or live out their faith Jesus taught them to be humble and simple in their service to others. They were sent out into the world to spread the Good News of life, faith and hope. This forms the foundation of the Christian community, and St Paul’s as a school, in the world today.

In the Gospel account this week we hear how Jesus was criticised for spending time with Tax Collectors, seen as sinners in collecting money for the Romans as the occupiers. Nobody could trust them as they gathered taxes for the enemy often creaming off a cut for themselves.  He explained that God celebrates the return of anyone comes back to Him and in fact searches them out. Jesus goes on to teach some of the accounts found in Luke’s Gospel on “Lost and Found”. This includes the lost sheep, lost coin and in one account the lost son.

What does this tell us? Put simply God loves us and God forgives us. If I was asked to summarise all of Jesus’s teaching I would use simply two words – love and forgiveness. Sounds a good starting point for us to sign up and give discipleship a go.

A few thoughts for the academic year ahead;

  • What can we do to listen to God’s plan for us and become disciples?
  • How can we share faith by being Gospel (Good News) people?
  • How can we seek out those who are lost and offer love and forgiveness to those around us?

If we can live our lives in this way I believe we will make our community at St Paul’s a better place but also be a shining light of faith to the world around us. Let’s ask God to guide an bless us on this incredible journey.