October 30, 2020
by Director of Mission, Mr Geoff Brodie
This week we farewelled our Year 12 students. At the end of their time at the College, we might ask the question posed by the College’s public claim: Are they great men?
On Thursday we welcomed our College Patron, Bishop Paul Bird, and our College Chaplain, Fr Eladio Lizada, to lead us in prayer. In his reflection, Bishop Paul offered a quote of St John Henry Newman that directly addressed the question:
“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”
When Jesus’ disciples argued among themselves about who was the greatest (Lk 9:45-8), Jesus was clear in his response. Greatness comes from accepting the mission that God grants us. Greatness is not something we achieve through our own efforts, but it is a gift of God’s love accepted when we participate in the definite service God creates for us.
God does not create for naught. Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins expresses the trust we need in God’s wisdom when he wrote that “God knows when to God knows what.” May our graduating students endure all of life’s challenges to be preachers of truth and witnesses to God’s love. May they come to accept the greatness of the definite service God has created for each of them.