From the Religious Education Coordinator
“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”
This week’s Gospel is one that showcases a very different side of Jesus than what we usually expect. Rather than a gentle Jesus, we read about Him displaying anger in the Temple when He arrives there to celebrate the Passover. While it is nice to think of Jesus only as being the gentle and loving God we usually encounter, it is important to appreciate the reasons for His anger in this week’s Gospel. When Jesus arrives at the Temple, He finds it being used as a marketplace. Although there were contextual reasons for the existence of money changers and animals being sold for sacrificial offerings, we must look deeper to discover what was at the root of Jesus’ anger.
It was common practice for Jewish travellers to be cheated when changing money or buying sacrifices and in many cases it was the poorer communities that suffered the most during these times. When we think of the Temple as God’s house it should be a place where all feel welcome and all are able to dedicate themselves and their attention to God. When we become too complacent with our faith it is unfortunately far too easy to lose our ability to show God the necessary respect and attention. We also fill our lives with materialism rather than the spiritual nourishment our souls desire. We know from the Gospel that Jesus was referring to Himself when announced that He could rebuild the temple in three days. Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we are making our own bodies, temples of the Lord. As we continue to make our way through Lent, let us cleanse ourselves from unnecessary distractions so that we might make ourselves ready to receive Jesus into our hearts at Easter.
Year 12 Retreat Day 2
On Thursday 25th February, Year 12 experienced its second day of the modified retreat program for 2021. Due to COVID they have had their overnight retreat experience split over four days, three of which are in 2021. Their first day was held in Term 4 last year and involved a selection of the usual activities run on retreat. Last Thursday, the second day revisited some of these activities while also giving them the opportunity to plan initiatives as a PC and as a House. The middle part of the day involved a special House Trivia Competition made up of 50 questions across five challenging rounds. It also included a House flavour as every team was tied to their House and included a special fundraising option for Project Compassion. I was blown away by the spirit in which our students entered this activity with students raising almost $600 in the space of one hour. The generosity of our students must never be underestimated as many of them gave money willingly to not only support their House but also Caritas. In the afternoon we welcomed Br Pat as he celebrated Mass with our Year 12 students. As I have written in previous newsletters, Mass has not been as readily available to us as a school community the past 12 months, so to have this opportunity was truly special. I pray that our Year 12s continue to have a successful year and that they lead our school community with compassion. They will enjoy their third day of retreat early in Term 2 and will have the chance to contribute their time and talents to various social justice initiatives.
Sacrament of Confirmation Invitation
All Year 7 students at Good Samaritan Catholic College were recently surveyed in their Religious Education classes to determine whether they have missed out on completing any of their Catholic Sacraments. The results of this survey have indicated that a significant number of students have missed out on the opportunity for the Sacrament of Confirmation and are keen to complete it in 2021.
There is an opportunity for students who are eligible to complete the Sacrament of Confirmation, to do so via Good Shepherd Parish Hoxton Park. To find out more information regarding the process, please consider attending either one of the enrolment evenings listed below. Preparation for the Sacrament will take place in April leading up to its completion in May this year.
Enrolment Evening Details
For fathers: Sunday 14th March at 6:45pm at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Hoxton Park
For mothers: Sunday 21st March at 6:45pm at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Hoxton Park
If your child has not yet completed this important Sacrament of the Church, please consider attending one of the above information evenings. We are hoping to continue finding opportunities for our students to complete other Catholic Sacraments in 2021.
Mr Matthew Bradbury
Religious Education Coordinator