Over the last two weeks we have been reflecting on the feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) and a focus on the theme of division. In the Gospel account we hear of how Jesus was accused of having an “unclean spirit in him”. At the time of Jesus’ life there was a belief that physical suffering was due to sin or wrong-doing and often in the healing miracles of Jesus we hear about him saying “your sins have been forgiven”. But what does this mean today?
Jesus challenges us to show healing in our relationships and with God. We are called to help people become “whole again”. It may recognise that we have spiritual, physical and psychological needs and aspects to our personality, happiness and welfare. This is most highlighted to me when we think of the importance of us understanding and supporting those who face issues of mental illness, mental health and well-being.
On another level we sometimes face division in the world and feel overwhelmed by it but in reality we may need to look closer to home. We can find opportunities to heal our relationships personally and professionally even when it is challenging to do so. Taking the first step to mend a broken relationship is challenging but worth the risk and that first step.
If we are to be “one body” as a school, or Christian community, we need to invest time in ensuring we find ways to be people of faith. Living out faith in a meaningful way makes sense of Jesus’ challenge for us to live out faith in action.
So let us this week make a renewed promise to do this and accept the challenge to be the “body of Christ” in the world today and also create faith, justice and peace. A few questions worth considering…
- How can we offer love and forgiveness to those around us?
- What can we do to build unity and understanding in our relationships?
- How can we put Jesus at the centre of our lives and community?
I hope in the week ahead you get the opportunity to bring Christ back to the centre of our lives and also feel whole again.
This week we have the theme of Church as a focus in our school community. In a very simplistic way we probably think immediately of a variety of Church buildings or experiences we have had.
In essence this may be missing the point. The Church is actually God’s “chosen people” – a community responding to the call of faith to come and worship together. In the photograph of the brick wall we can see the different shapes, colours and textures of every brick which are unique and different, yet together they make the one wall bound together to make something which is greater in some way.
Some of my best experiences of being part of the Church have come in unusual surroundings ranging from celebrating Mass in a railway carriage on the way back from pilgrimage in Lourdes to gathering under a tree in Zimbabwe and sharing the Gospel with a community in a rural village awaiting a priest (who never turned up!). The word Catholic means universal or worldwide and it is a great joy that wherever you go in the world you belong to part of the community, even if we don’t understand the language we can engage with the faith we share.
The world feels at times troubled and divided facing great challenges in tragedy, terrorism and political division. However, I feel so blessed as I have the perfect tonic to recover my belief in humanity, faith, life and hope. I have the joy of walking into a vibrant school community each day. Being surrounded by young people (and staff!) so full of vitality, joy, energy and positivity brings joy to my heart.
This week we celebrate our Patron Saint’s Day as we celebrate the feast of St Peter and St Paul. This culminates for us on a day on Friday full of fundraising, activities and time celebrating all that is best in our school.
A few thoughts for the week ahead;
- How can we build up the strength of the Church community?
- What can we do to celebrate the diversity and difference we find in our communities?
- How can we ensure we continue to see light and hope even in times of challenge and conflict?
So in advance thank you for making St Paul’s such a special community that I am so proud of because in essence #thisismychurch!