Sunday, August 17, 2014

GO: Faithfully

I continue to be AMAZED by the presence of God in my life. As if speaking directly to me, today's readings resound in my heart, as if God selected them specifically for me. Even the homily at Mass today seemed as if it was made for me...

It was. It always is.

Today's first reading, from Isaiah, talks about the universality of God's House. All are welcomed. All are accepted. Keep His commandments. Observe what is right, do what is just. His House is a House of prayer for all peoples. 

Our theme last school year, HOME, reinforced and galvanized the already strong message of community and family within our school. And like any good theme, even though we replaced it with something new and fresh, its message continues to ring true. Here, on the cusp of a new school year, we are reminded to continue to focus on making our school a HOME for our students - a place where "love can dwell and all can safely live. A place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive" (from All Are Welcome, by Marty Haugen).

Then, in the Gospel, Jesus rewards the faith of the Canaanite woman, healing her daughter from a chronic illness. Perhaps the most profound part of today's Gospel is how Jesus rewards faithfulness and how the woman in the story displays the type of faithfulness required to be rewarded. Jesus ignores her first request. She persists. She speaks to Jesus directly. He challenges her. She is not dismayed or discouraged, but remains faithful in her trust and belief that God can heal and restore all things, and she responds back to Jesus with a declaration of her faith. In turn, her daughter is restored to full health.

Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds us, "God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful."

We have faced and overcome many challenges already this school year (and it has yet to begin with children!) and there are still others looming over us, distracting us, trying to get us to give in and give up. Let us not focus on the trappings of success but remain committed to a focus on God, reliance on each other and a faithfulness to living out our call as Catholic educators. 

Let us GO: excel, love, serve, learn, teach, pray, love, inspire, awaken, create, change, transform, empower, open, evolve, be, write, accept, breath, bloom, grow, reveal, challenge, courageously, relentlessly, proactively, loyally, with serenity, in gratitude, with strength, with purpose, now.

GO. Do what you believe and believe in what you do.