The College Theme for 2020 is: ‘We are called’
As I sat down to write this important reflection it occurred to me that this task was not one I could do on my own, after all, the theme is not ‘I am called.’ I recognised an opportunity to reach out and collaborate with some other wise young people and so it is our collective thoughts that are offered here for you.
There are many things that we are called to do and to be as disciples of Jesus. We think that the word disciple is an unusual word that we don’t really hear or use much today. We think it means someone who works hard to follow the example of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus was a pretty amazing person and an inspiring role model for each of us. The stories of Jesus we find in the Gospels paint a picture of a person who stood up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. Jesus used his voice to speak up for the voiceless. When Jesus saw something unjust happening, he did something about it.
At our school we call people who do this kind of thing an upstander. There are lots of stories where Jesus models courage in the Gospels, like when he reached out and healed the Leper (Mt 8:1-5) and called Zacchaeus, the tax collector to come down from the tree and had dinner at his house (Lk 19:1-10). The other people would’ve criticised Jesus a lot. Why would he want to have anything to do with them? Lots of people would not have understood why Jesus reached out to these people. They were not very well-liked or accepted by others. Jesus didn’t care for what the others thought of them, or him. Instead of being focused on his own popularity he put the needs of others first. This is called servant leadership.
Our theme for 2020 is an invitation to us all to follow the example of Jesus. The stories we have of Jesus in the Gospels are examples of justice, love and service to others.
Responding to the call to follow Jesus is not an easy task for any of us. It’s actually really hard! It requires us to make sacrifices and sometimes we may feel as though we are not ready to accept the call. One of my favourite theologians, Elisabeth Johnson writes, ‘Jesus’ mission does not wait until we think we are ready. The need for the gospel in this broken world is far too urgent. We are called right now – even in spite of our frailty, failures and doubts, even in the midst of our ordinary, busy, complicated lives.’ Sometimes when we put the needs of others before our own we can be left feeling unpopular, of like we are missing out.
But I think one of our Year 7 students might have outdone Ms Johnson on this occasion. “Being a follower of Jesus requires commitment. It’s like carrying a cross that sometimes you can’t carry on your own - that is when Jesus carries the cross and you with it.” Angus Osborne, Year 7
And that my friends, is our faith in action.
Miss Kylie Morrissey Deputy Principal – Catholic Identity and Community
Written in grateful collaboration with Simon Cagas, John Lao and Angus Osborne, Year 7 Students