Mission Report

July 22, 2021

by Director of Mission, Mr Geoff Brodie

The Catechism of the Catholic Church begins with the affirmation that God, who is infinitely perfect and blessed, in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created us to share in his own blessed life (CCC 1). At the risk of sounding too technical, God is unconditioned. Unlike the human person that needs, at the very least, the required set of physical, chemical, and biological conditions to exist, God just is. Our imaginations and experience, our capacity for great acts of understanding and creativity, accumulated over human history, cannot even begin to comprehend the difference between God and ourselves.

Despite this incomprehensible difference, out of love “at every time and in every place, God draws close” to each of us, inviting us “to seek him, to know him, to love him with all one’s strength.” God draws close, not because God needs to, but because our very existence and our fulfillment requires God’s intimate love. More fundamental than the physical, chemical, and biological needs of our existence, we are created from and for love, and require loving and joyful relationships to exist and to flourish. Our reality in love explains the challenge of on-going lockdowns. Australian writer Gideon Haigh offers this commentary:

“We have worried a lot, rightly, about the impact of lockdowns on the lonely and isolated. But what of those who help to bring us together, to enthuse us about a cause or a project, who have been deprived of seeing their efforts fructify in the ways that make them worthwhile – those who make life that little bit richer, who lift us above the level of subsistence?” (The Australian, 21 July, 2021)

We are challenged by the absence of the good. The air we breathe, and healthy food are good things we must have to exist and flourish. More than this, our loving relationships are not merely added extras for us but are essential for our very existence. Life is relationship.

God knows this of course – God wisely and lovingly created us this way. So, our faith also affirms that God sent Jesus to be our “Way, Truth and Life.” In Jesus, we have friendship with God. As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, our faith in Jesus grants us knowledge of the world as it really is. Our friendship with Jesus, who is the bread of heaven that sustain us, affirms the hope that we dwell in God’s love. Our love for Jesus is our fulfillment.

And here is the point we must remember in this current challenge. Jesus revealed that the greatest Commandment is to love God and our neighbour: our love for our neighbour is intimately inseparable from our love of God. Therefore, during this lockdown and beyond, when we reach out to offer friendship and love to someone, when we remind someone that they are not alone, we are participating in the fulfilment of God’s loving plan. This plan is our greatest good. The challenges we currently face cannot be allowed to separate us from that. Our love for God and neighbour must be unconditional, for that is sharing in the very life of God.