Director of Faith and Mission

10 February 2023, 2:46PM

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Jesus said to his disciples:

听鈥楧o not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets.听

I have come not to abolish them but to complete them.

听I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.*听

Matthew 5:17f

Welcome to a new school year, and in particular those who join our faith and learning community for the first time.

There are public servants whose role it is to comb through old and not so old legislation that needs to be reviewed, updated, repealed or once expired removed from the statute books. It鈥檚 a reflection of the changing needs of the community in which we live. Even the law cannot remain static, it is not immutable. The law is dynamic, it responds to whatever concerns are paramount at a given time. We鈥檝e had to accommodate automobiles on our roads, insisted on helmets for cyclists, defended the disabled, legalized abortion, protected great swathes of ancient rainforest. On the other hand, just because we have legislated, of course, doesn鈥檛 mean the legislation is supported by the entire population, nor that it reflects some moral superiority. It doesn鈥檛.听听

From Matthew鈥檚 Sermon on the Mount, we hear of Jesus鈥 affirmation of the validity of the (Mosaic) Law. For the Jews, the Law possessed a sacredness which was seen as a sacramental assurance of good relationship with God. The greater the fidelity and attentiveness to the Law, the closer the relationship. Jesus provokes his listeners by suggesting 鈥 quite contrarily 鈥 that while he had no intention of changing the Law 鈥 that the Law was not perfect. Indeed, it was to be him who would bring it to perfection, to fulfillment.听听

Once, the Christian life for Catholics was governed by a myriad of laws and customs, many of which fell away or at least fell into disuse following the Second Vatican Council (1962 鈥 1965) and many of its mores challenged by the apparent and surprising populist rejection of Paul VI鈥檚 Humanae vitae in 1968. The modern Catholic wants to make sense of the rules, many find the exclusion of divorc茅s from the Eucharistic table and the often-painful indissolubility of marriage the final chapter of their membership of the church.听

We have returned to the scriptures and to the sacred stories and learnings of the earliest Christian communities and we continue to explore what it means to be a Christian in the modern world, what it means to be faithful 鈥 but constantly and deeply aware that it is in Jesus that our lives, our world and hope are made perfect in him.

*This is an excerpt from this week’s Gospel for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year 11 and 12 Retreats

On Thursday and Friday, Year 12s gathered in the Harcombe Centre to spend time in renewing friendships and giving thought and consideration to their priorities, hopes and dreams, affirming their strengths and talents and finding time for prayer. Given the inclement weather, our hoped-for afternoon at the beach was replaced with an afternoon of catching up and basketball. On the Friday, the entire Senior College cohort began their day in prayer beautifully led by Veyakhar Pather, Fine Fifita, Till Keneally, Hunter Cooper and Finn Peach. Our visiting speaker, Sam Clear, spent critical time with both Year 12s and Year 11s (separately) once again drawing from the rich experience of his global walking adventure. There was general acclamation of Sam’s presentations – given the daily and many lessons that he has taken from his experiences. Lunch was a BBQ cooked by the stalwart BBQ crew. Thanks have been extended to the College staff for their extraordinary support for the Senior College cohort.

Peter Douglas

Director of Faith and Mission