1h1a4108.jpgLenten Reflection – Our Fortune

At our Samson House Mass this morning in our beautiful Blessed Edmund Chapel, one of the readings was the parable of Lazarus. The story goes that Lazarus lay sick and prostrate at the feet of a rich man who shared nothing of his fortune – he could not find it in his heart to be charitable. The time came when Lazarus died and found love and comfort at the side of Abraham. The rich man also died and was destined to suffer in torment.

During the Season of Lent, we are encouraged to find it in our hearts give alms, to share our good fortune in a way that the rich man in the parable would not. To be compassionate, big-hearted and kind. To think of others and put ourselves in their shoes.

Finding it in our hearts to share our fortune is not always easy. We live in a society that promotes self-interest, consumerism, instant gratification and pleasure-seeking, and asking our boys to be counter cultural goes against the norm of what they see and experience daily. We ask them to form attitudes and actions based on Gospel Values of selflessness, charity, kindness and forgiveness. While these are worthy and wonderful values, they must be taught, modelled, practiced and reinforced both at home and at school so that they become the default and override the consistent and persistent messaging of the media that pervades our children's lives.

For Lent students have each been given a Caritas Project Compassion box and asked to contribute what they can to help people less fortunate than themselves. For some students $5 may be their best, for some it may be more. Caritas is an organisation that provides amazing support for people in need around the globe, and I hope that our boys find genuine comfort and satisfaction in this act of giving. In making a small sacrifice, the suffering of our brothers and sisters who live in poverty and experience desperate times may be eased.

"We ask them to form attitudes and actions based on Gospel Values of selflessness, charity, kindness and forgiveness."

While Project Compassion is a powerful act of charity and grace, and a symbol of our love for humanity, fortune is not limited to just a financial contribution to others. Our children have the fortune of being born in a safe and peaceful country with access to education and health care. Most have the fortune of loving family, strong friendships, and unique gifts and talents that are nurtured. Our boys have the fortune to be safe, supported and heard, and our boys have the fortune to be able to choose their own way to make the world a better place.

St Teresa of Kolkata said that "finding the courage to be yourself and touch the lives of others in ways that only you can do is the most profound act of love and service and significance." In the story of Lazarus, the rich man ignores others and does not seek to make their lives better. In the Season of Lent and throughout the year, our boys are encouraged to share their fortune by using their own unique gifts and talents through friendship, service and compassion.

Ms Jenny Knox
Vice Principal -- Identity and Mission