2 December 2021
This Sunday saw the Church enter into the season of Advent. It is hard to believe Christmas is only 23 days away! Often when we think of the countdown to Christmas, we think of packed shopping centres, the stress of what to buy our loved ones and friends, the nuances of family and who will sit next to who at the dinner table! It is also tempting to just think of ripping off the wrapping paper to see what presents we get.
Advent is an important part of the Christian calendar. The word advent comes from the Latin term adventus meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly the coming of something having great importance. Advent season is a time of joy-filled, anticipatory celebration of the birth of Jesus.
I attended a professional learning seminar recently where I was reminded of Mary’s response to the Angel when she was told that she was going to be the Mother of Jesus. It didn’t speak of glory, it didn’t speak of privilege, but only of willingness and service. Mary didn’t elevate herself in the face of the prospect of becoming, the Mother of Jesus, but remains modest and expresses her own devotion to the God’s plan. Mary is humble. At the same time, she is aware that the realisation of God’s plan depends on her answer, and that therefore she is called to say ‘yes’ to it with her whole self.
Mary inspired Marcellin’s style of being on mission. She received the Holy Spirit at the Annunciation and responded immediately to Elizabeth’s need. In so doing, she shows us that contemplation and action are both indispensable elements of spirituality. Mary’s way lays the foundation of all our actions: listening, patient waiting, nurturing interiority and responsiveness to God’s will.
(Water from the Rock n.131)
So in this season of advent, I invite you to slow down and take time to reflect on how you can say ‘yes’ to what God calls us to be. It is not about shopping, presents, etc but rather a time of renewal where we can be re-born at Christmas and be the best version of ourselves in the service of others.
I wish to acknowledge our hard working and dedicated staff that always have the young men at the forefront of their thinking. I have been so inspired to hear statements like “how will this support student’s growth and understanding”? Their outstanding efforts to ensure our young men achieve personal excellence is commendable and I thank them for their commitment and devotion.
I also wish to recognise our students and parents. I come to work every day, filled with energy and enthusiasm, blessed to be a part of our Marist community. Thank you for your support, your willingness to walk alongside us, your affirmation and encouragement as we work in partnership for each young person who we want only the best. To quote St Marcellin “we want our students to grow to be, Good Christians and Good Citizens”.
Finally, I wish all our young men, our families and all in our community a very Happy and Holy Christmas and I look forward, with eagerness, to working with you all in the New Year.