The Gospel readings this week have focused on God’s message of love. On reflection, that could be said about the Gospels on any day or in any week – the Gospels are about salvation, which comes thanks to God’s love. But this week we hear the word ‘love’ used directly several times, for example:
‘This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.’
‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.’
In the past few days we have had Celebration Mornings for Year 11 and Year 13 students, marking the end of their lessons and praying God’s blessing upon them before beginning public examinations. Last Friday we celebrated the feast of St Jeanne with a wonderful whole school Mass and then BBQ on the field. On Thursday this week Year 9 enjoyed a Reflection Day, focusing on ‘stability in a changing world’.
These have all been different events, but what has run through them as a consistent thread has been a tangible sense of love. Love for one another. Love for our school. This has been lived out through joyful participation, through laughter, through companionship and selflessness, through high levels of respect, through helpfulness, through the sharing of memories and experiences, and through the provision of mutual support. We have talked together, we have thought together, we have prayed together. The light of love has shone brightly.
The five ethos statements of St Jeanne, displayed around the school (and beautifully illustrated below by two Year 9 students), do not feature the word ‘love’. But of course all five of the statements are about expressions of love. Look how many hearts there are in the students’ illustration. Live the ethos statements, and you will live in love.
What we have seen in the past few days is St Jeanne’s ethos being truly lived out; lived out in love. Thanks be to God!