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School begins at 19 - Will you enter?

School begins at 19. In Australia we have a largely factory model for schooling. Does the spirit of school more fully begin when we leave school? Instead of someone telling us what to do, we begin we enter into life with our choices and the path we are called to be? Do we do this more fully when we are away from a fixed structure like a school? For a lot of people God seems to go out the window. We start to disconnect ourselves from God and the people of God. Or maybe this started much sooner during school when we discovered church and God do not fit our own expectations. Round circles do not fit into square holes. Busy lifestyles no longer have time for worshiping a God that seems to be a mystery and rather absent.

But, have we missed something?

Is there something more than what we think?

Is there something more to life than the choices we make?

Is there something more to the money we can own?

What truly gives life meaning is not entirely by our own design. But we become the master designer, and forget the creator.

There is something more than what we can see.

January the 1st we celebrate Mary the “Mother of God”. Mary who said “yes” even though she did not know fully what “yes” meant. Things were not by her own design. She did not make herself the master designer.

School begins at 19 when we realise we are not the master designer and that there is a creator. Sometimes it takes great suffering. Sometimes it takes a great amount of prayer. Sometimes it takes a great encounter with love outside of ourselves. Sometimes we need to step into our fears to wake us up to the fact that there is something more.

We are called to do the same.

Mary listened
Mary's pregnancy brought cultural brokenness
Mary was afraid.
The angel comforted her.
Mary trusted.
Mary reflected and pondered what was going on.
Mary waited…
Mary prayed…
Mary acted.
As I write this journal entry my two young sons are arguing very loudly inside the house. Raising their voices so much so I am sure the neighbours from a distance can clearly hear. The arguing continues. The fighting is louder. My fear is that things may get violent. They start hitting each other. I realise they do not have the maturity at this point to resolve this issue. As a father, rather like the angel, I need to intervene. I step back into the house and ask my younger son to come outside. To sit next to me. To focus on his breathing. He bluntly refuses so I breath for him. Then I slowly read this journal out loud I am now writing. My son begins to reflect. He begins to ponder. Suddenly the chaos of siblings fighting is gone. There is silence and we can now hear birds from a distance.

Each of us have a part to play and an active part. School begins at 19 when we play an active part and no longer simply sit on the couch of life and change channels with the remote control. We need to stand up from our lounge chair that sits from a distance and get closer to life. We need to step inside what gives us the greatest fears.

The phrase 'do not be afraid' or variations of it, such as 'fear not,' appears numerous times in the Bible. While the exact count can vary slightly depending on the translation, it is commonly stated that the phrase appears 365 times across the Old and New Testaments. This number is often highlighted for its symbolic resonance, implying a reminder from God not to fear for each day of the year.

This phrase is a central theme in biblical texts, underscoring the message of trust and faith in God's plan and protection. It appears in various contexts, from God's reassurances to key figures like Abraham, Moses, and Mary, to Jesus' words to his disciples. Each occurrence serves as a reminder of God's presence, care, and sovereignty, encouraging believers to put their faith and trust in God above their fears and uncertainties.

What are you most afraid of?

Those places which most frighten us is the places where school begins. It is in the darkness of our lives. It is in the brokenness of our lives. It is in our fragility where God’s light can more fully shine. Salvation is the pattern of our lives made manifest “through Him, with Him and in Him”. In the mass, these words are spoken for us. Because in the unity with the Holy Spirit God can dwell in us. Mary becomes the tabernacle. Mary becomes the womb of God. Mary actively invites the Holy Spirit in. We need to do the same to more deeply enter into life.

Follow Mary’s example.

Actively Listen
What are you most afraid of?
Where is our brokenness?
Where are their people like angels in your life?
How and where do you need to trust more?
Take time to reflect and ponder what was going on.
Wait….
Pray….
After some time. When you are ready…
Act like Mary.

School begins at 19. Will you enter?



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Date
02 January 2024

Tag 1
Blog

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Inspiration

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Parents Corner

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Marist Laity Australia

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