Mission Report – March 3, 2016

March 2, 2016

We continue our journey through this Season of Lent -“ a time of transformation and unity for those who enter with humble and contrite hearts before our God.

As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition we absorb much of our rich identity from the liturgical Seasons. Each has their distinctive colour and flavour that frames and encourages the conversation between the mystery and truth of Jesus Christ and our own lived reality. The Charter of Edmund Rice Schools take its life from expressing this dialogue, especially in the Four Touchstones that seek to a guide for our every action. The Touchstone of Gospel Spirituality is a special focus for us in a year Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy.

We invite people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace and living reality within our community.-

The original Greek word for Gospel is -‘euangelion’, a word that was used in secular Greek language before Gospel author Mark used it to describe the nature of his writing. Translated into English it becomes -the good news- or -gospel-. It was used at the time to describe the public proclamation of a public event that was good news for everyone. (Donahue and Harrington). A Gospel spirituality then is one that has the good news of an event as the ground of the story of Jesus, and to encounter this event is at the heart of our Touchstone.

This event is the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus which has special emphasis for us in this Season of Lent. This is the story of Jesus who is -‘God made man’, an event that is a great challenge for our minds and hearts. A Gospel spirituality is not found merely in a way of behaving and acting, but in the acceptance of an event, a fact, a truth. The Gospels tell the story of this -‘good news’ -“ the event that is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

This event is what gives the words of Jesus their unique power and beauty, as it is indeed God speaking to use in ways our ears can hear and our heart may accept. The words and actions of Jesus as contained in the Gospels have enriched the lives of many whether they were believers or not. Reading the Beatitudes was a life changing moment for Gandhi as he sought freedom, justice and peace for his people. But it is for the person who accepts Christ into their hearts, as God Incarnate, that the conversation between God and deepest desires of our heart truly comes to life. In this Season of Lent let us open the very depths of our life to the words of Jesus found in the Gospels.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them,- saying:

-Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of- heaven.

-Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be- comforted.

-Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the- earth.

-Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be- filled.

-Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive- mercy.

-Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see- God.

-Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of- God.

-Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of- heaven.

-Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before- you. (Matthew 5:1-12)