Filling the darkness with hope and light
Approaching Christmas 2019 we are very aware of the instability in the world and in our own country, there is war, civil unrest, mass movement of people, abject poverty and a growing gap between the rich and the poor.
The Christmas story reminds us that Jesus was born into a world of similar instability, into a poor family, in an occupied country and became a refugee in infancy. During Advent we are reminded that however dark is the horizon, the birth of Jesus brings light into the darkness.
Pope Francis speaking about Advent said:
For the great human family it is necessary to renew always the common horizon toward which we are journeying. The horizon of hope! This is a horizon that makes a good journey...It is the Lord himself who guides our journey, the pilgrimage of all the people of God; and by its light even the other peoples can walk towards a kingdom of justice, towards the kingdom of peace.
We have been delighted by some of the light our students have been trying to bring into people’s lives this term. To give three recent examples, we saw in assembly pictures of the chairs and desks we have provided for the new secondary school in Zimbabwe, partly funded by the sponsorship collected after the Fun Run. We know what a life changing impact free education will have for those students. Several of our students, with their Scout Group, collected food for Jimmy’s night shelter as part of ‘Trick or Eat’ instead of ‘Trick or Treat’. They collected thirty Tesco delivery crates full. Currently, we are collecting Christmas gifts to be given to the local women’s refuge.
In addition in trying to contribute to a kingdom of justice, we have been continuing our work for peace by celebrating the enrichment we derive from the variety of nations and cultures we enjoy in school. We had an International assembly celebrating the richness of our diversity and an International Food Fair. We still spend a minute of silence in prayer for peace on an almost daily basis, in which endeavour we are joined by Mary Ward schools in Spain, Kenya, USA, India, Korea, Australia, Italy, Ireland, Argentina and Zimbabwe.
At our All Saints celebration, Fr Simon reminded us that we are ‘friends of Jesus’, part of Jesus’ extended family, the communion of saints so it is with joyful and hopeful anticipation of grace and blessing that we prepare to celebrate his birthday and look forward in hope to the fulfilment of the kingdom.
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