From the Principal
As our school year draws to a close this week and the end of 2019 looms, our Church year begins again with the season of Advent.
To suggest that this is a bit incongruous is not unreasonable, but many things associated with Christmas are. Some of this incongruity is associated with the simple fact that seasons in the southern hemisphere are at odds with the northern hemisphere, and so much of the narrative around Christmas, especially in a commercial sense, makes no sense to us at all. Snow, reindeer, and the North Pole don’t mean much to those south of the equator.
More important than this though, is the incongruity of Christ coming into our world as a newborn in Palestine under Roman rule. This will always be beyond the comprehension of those without faith, and so they look for other reasons to celebrate Christmas. For many in Australia, Christmas is about family and getting together – a bit like Thanksgiving for Americans – and this is a happy circumstance. For others, it is about having a holiday or break, and this is also good. Of course, for the young it is often viewed through the lens of gifts – hopefully giving as well as receiving – and this creates excitement and anticipation, which may also be fun.
All of these things, family, holidays, and gifts are undeniably good for us but, without anything else, Christmas is a bit like a Coca Cola promotion − I refer to this quite deliberately, since the modern Santa Claus really owes his existence to that multinational!
For me, it is the ‘Christ’ in Christmas that is most significant. The extraordinary leap of faith that I commit to every year to believe that God entered into our world as a baby born to Mary and these events more than 2000 years ago continue to give meaning and purpose to our lives today, is what Christmas is really about. Our community of Saint Ignatius’ College doesn’t exist without Christ at its heart, and so I really hope that everyone in our community has a sense of Christ in Christmas this year.
I pray that all believers in our world experience peace and joy this Christmas, and that God’s love for us may be reflected in our actions with each other.
I also give thanks for the year that was, and I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that will come in 2020.
I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Mr Peter Coffey