Principal's Blog - 20 April 2017

18 Apr 2017

Dear members of the Marcellin family,

Moments of epiphany and inspiration arrive at the most unexpected times in the most unusual of circumstances. In the last couple of weeks I was privileged to experience one such moment at Marcellin. Throughout March our College interviewed a large number of Grade 6 boys and their families as part of the enrolment process for Year 7, 2018. Late one Thursday afternoon a young man entered my office with his Dad. He apologised for his mum not being able to make it to the interview as she was at home looking after his sisters and she was also a bit tired because she was pregnant with twins.

The interview progressed in the usual way as this humble, articulate and quietly confident boy told me about his interests, his life at school and why he wished to come to Marcellin. As you may recall one of the last questions we always ask prospective students is this… What is the one thing you would like me to remember about you from today’s interview? On this occasion the young man in front of me went quiet. He sat for a while thoughtfully pondering this difficult question. Eventually he said that he knew a quote which he liked to think about. He then said “My Quote is, Do your best and God will take care of the rest." I could see by the look on this boy’s face and the tone of conviction in his voice that these words were genuine and heartfelt. I asked my young friend what these words meant to him. He said…You have to love your mum and your dad, look after your sisters and trust God.

As I left for home that evening those simple words were revolving around in my mind. Trust in God. It is an idea which is particularly poignant during the Easter Season. When Jesus turned his face toward Jerusalem he knew the fate that awaited him. As he rode a donkey down the hill known as the Mt of Olives towards the gates of the city he must have been almost paralysed by trepidation and fear. Throughout this whole time I think he must have grappled with his decision to turn his face towards Jerusalem.

It wasn’t until four days later when he prayed in the garden that he finally surrendered himself to the will of his Father. At that moment, as Paul tells us – he humbled himself to accepting death, death on a cross. In that moment too, he lived out the words of the prophet Isaiah which we heard on Palm Sunday:

The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults So too,
I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed. Is. 50:4-7

From that moment until the moment he took his last breath at Calvary, Jesus surrendered himself totally to the will of God. He did not put up a struggle when he was arrested. He did not defend himself against accusation. He did not save himself as the Pharisees and a criminal mocked him to do. He simply trusted God.

The great American Theologian Ron Rolheiser speaks about Jesus becoming a passive participant in his own death. In fact Rolheiser says that the word Passion comes from the Latin passio meaning passiveness, non-activity, absorbing something more than actively doing anything. This was the ultimate act of trust in his Father.   

So perhaps there is some profound wisdom in the words of my young friend – others may say it with greater eloquence but none would say it with such conviction and simplicity as this young man.

The moment Jesus turned his face to Jerusalem he placed himself in the care of his loving Father – He did his best and let God take care of the rest.

Mark Murphy