Marist Theme for 2023
I would like to extend a warm welcome to all families and friends for 2023. This year, our the Marist theme is: Created and Called: A Revolution of Love and Tenderness. In his beautiful encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis calls upon all people to join in a ‘Revolution of Love and Tenderness.’ Revolution is a strong and, at times, intimidating word. It evokes images of epic battles, grandiose acts of heroism, and courageous leaders. Is this what the Pope is inviting us to?
The gentler words of love and tenderness offer us a clue to Pope Francis’ expectations. Often it is not the work of a charismatic leader that creates a revolution but the collective consciousness of thousands of small acts by thousands of different people that create revolutions. And the revolution that we are being invited to is a revolution of love and tenderness; a revolution that challenges us to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God. Imagine how transformative this world would be if thousands of people in thousands of small ways acted justly and loved tenderly today?
“Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire.” These words from St Catherine of Siena express a desire to be our deepest and truest selves in response to being known and loved by a God who, as Herbert McCabe OP says beautifully, is “helplessly and hopelessly in love with us”. God’s love changes us. It ignites the flame of desire in our hearts to be God’s love in the world. It ignites a revolution, a revolution fuelled by God’s love!
In Mary, we see the qualities of humility, tenderness and concern for others are not virtues of the weak but of the strong. This is captured powerfully in Mary’s song of praise, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), where she has literally been ignited by the divine fire of God’s love.
During the Nazi holocaust, the young 13-year-old Anne Frank wrote in her diary about the power of justice, tenderness and walking humbly with her God, saying: “The sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit”. She also said: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Today, the revolution of love and tenderness starts with you and me. Let us pray that we may all be living signs of the Father’s tenderness and love (Water From the Rock, 102) as we set the world on fire with God’s love.
Ms Geralyn McCarthy
Deputy Principal, Faith & Mission
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