As we prepare for our celebration of Catholic Schools Week, I find myself thinking about what makes St. Patrick School so special. My first thought is our students, so it is fitting that they describe what they love about being a St. Patrick Warrior/Catholic Schools Week.
One of our 5th graders told me: I have been going to St. Pat’s since I was in Kindergarten. In my six years of being here, I have learned much more than science, math, social studies, and other subjects. I have learned that our mission at St. Pat’s is to love Jesus, to love others, and to try to help all those who need our help. All of us at St. Pat’s try to do this each day. Right now we are collecting cans for the Souper Bowl of Caring. Our goal this year is 2000 cans. I also love that we are the Warriors and that St. Patrick is our patron saint.
An 8th grader said: Catholic Schools Week is dedicated to recognizing, honoring, and celebrating all who make our Catholic education special. I started St. Pat’s in Kindergarten and I am now an 8th Grader. The love for Catholic education among all of the students here at St. Pat’s is extremely high. We start and end each day with prayer, setting the tone that God is the foundation in our lives. During this prayer time we remember all of our special intentions.
When I asked a 3rd grade what he loved about St. Pat’s, he said: I love that my parents send me here. I have great friends, I love Genius Hour, and I think every day is fun.
After gathering these responses, I realized there is not much more for me to say – our students have said it perfectly in their own words! Go Warriors!
When I am travelling from my home to school, the most direct and shortest route is 401 to 30 to Old Lancaster Pike to Bridge St. to King Road. Although mileage wise it may be the shortest route, it is not always the fastest or least frustrating depending upon the time of day and traffic.
This past weekend we heard the story of the 3 Magi going to visit the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We know that Herod wanted them to come back to tell him where this “new born king” was, but they did not go back to Herod. Instead,”…they left for their own country by another road.” This last line of the Gospel reading has been stuck in my head since I heard it on Sunday. Why?
What is the other road we take to get back to our country? If the “country” is Jesus, what is the “path” or “road” we take to get to him? Is it time for prayer and works of mercy and charity? Is it practicing patience, lending a hand, offering a smile, welcoming a stranger, standing up for someone or for an important cause?
As I type these reflections, I realize that the above paragraph sounds good – and typical. But what about when the rubber meets the road and the people around me get on my nerves, rub me the wrong way, cause me to leave my comfort zone, cause me to reflect and change – do I continue on that “road” towards Jesus, or veer off into selfishness, gossip, and/or impatience?
The kings went back to their country by another road and in doing this they protected Jesus, the New Born King. Their road and direction was clear. Their “Country” was leading them to happiness and fulfillment.
Why can’t I get this passage of the Gospel out of my head? Perhaps it is because my “Country” is calling me to travel closer to him, to take the path that leads me to know him deeper, to long to be aware of his presence each day? Are we being asked to follow a new and more challenging “path”? I guess this New Year of 2016 will provide some answers to these many questions. Go Warriors!