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6 DEC, 2017

Advent Reflection

Always at this time of year I feel conflicted. Advent is a time to stop and reflect and give thanks for the birth of Jesus in our world. Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation for the coming of our Lord at Christmas. It is a season in which we focus on how we can get ourselves ready for Jesus’ return as we celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world. Yet it also seems to be one of the busiest times of the year. I was “forced” to go to a large shopping centre on the weekend and after searching for a carpark for 20 minutes and then walking into the shopping centre proper, all I wanted to do was turn around and get out of there. Where is preparing for Christ in that chaos? It is a challenge, but one I invite all to work towards. This could be in the form of a daily prayer, a quiet meditative moment or in stopping and sitting in silence for 5 minutes without the incessant noise of life influencing thought and action.

I was at St Thomas the Apostle mass last Sunday where Bishop Pat O’Regan was presiding, his first words were to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Last Sunday was the first week of the first season in the new liturgical year and the first of four weeks of Advent. The word “Advent” is derived from the latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. The Catholic Church therefore celebrates Advent as that period of the coming of Christ into our world. One of the symbols synonymous with advent is the advent wreath.

2017 chris black christmas photo 01

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. Each candle represents a part of the journey towards the joy of the birth of Christ. The first candle lit on the first Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope with the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming. The second candle lit on the second Sunday of Advent symbolizes Faith with the “Bethlehem Candle” reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. The third candle (the pink candle) is lit on the third Sunday of Advent symbolizing Joy with the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus. The fourth candle lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent symbolizes Peace with the “Angel’s Candle” reminding us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
In a recent Christmas Card competition organised through the Catholic Education Office – Sale, two St. Peter's students were the recipients of awards for best design. Their images and the associated text can be found below. Both Alliah and Mariel Garcia are to be congratulated for not only their artistic talent but also their interpretation of the true meaning of Christmas.

… they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. 
Then, opening their treasure chests they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
                                                                     (Mt 2:11)

2017 chris black christmas photo 1 01

   2017 chris black christmas photo 2 01 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 christmas card

 2017 Christmas card 1

 

 

 

 

My hope for all is that each of us experience the true joy of a hope-filled Christmas and that each and everyone of us can and will experience peace in our hearts and share this peace with those special people around us during this most special of times. Stay safe and I look forward meeting up with you again in 2018.

Reminder Notes:

  • Year 7s and 12s commence school on January 31st 2018
  • Years 8-11 commence school on February 1st
  • School Photos (in full summer uniform) occur on February 1st.

Chris Black Signature

Chris Black
Principal

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