December 15, 2016
The following is my weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard parent community:
I read a passage in an Advent reflection book the other day and it made me think. It said that while we designate a certain number of days liturgically as the season of Advent – days of preparation for the coming of Jesus – we should live our lives as to prepare for and welcome Jesus every day. This idea resonated with me. It is like Thanksgiving. We choose a Thursday in November each year to celebrate Thanksgiving, but we should be giving thanks every day for all of our blessings.
As I reflected on this concept of preparing for and welcoming Jesus every day, I realized how fortunate we are at Bishop Chatard. We welcome Jesus every time a student enters the doors of our building. We welcome Jesus disguised as a fellow staff member or dressed up like a parent coming to school to volunteer. We prepare for and welcome Jesus into our classrooms. We sit with Him at long, often boring, meetings. He prepares the food for us in the school kitchen and is later up on the roof repairing a leak. When I look in on student-to-student tutoring, I have difficulty determining if He is the one tutoring or the One being tutored…or both? He sits next to us at weekly Mass and offers Himself up at Communion.
I prepare for Jesus and welcome Him through a simple prayer in our chapel each morning:
“Jesus, walk with me today. When I am on the right path, affirm me. When I come to a fork in the road, guide me. When I am lazy and unmotivated, push me to move forward. When I fall, help me up. And when I am so tired I cannot take another step, Carry me until I am once again renewed in Your love. Let all things I do today be done to glorify You. Amen.”
Advent is great and I am a big fan of Christmas. That being said, I really love the idea of preparing for and welcoming Jesus every day. And I am so grateful that I work at a place where I can feel His presence in the people all around me. Sure, sometimes Jesus needs to have His cell phone taken away or be told to stop playing games on His computer – but He is no less Jesus because of it.
Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:16)
I feel we are prepared for Jesus and pray He feels welcome at Bishop Chatard.