Soul Food for Sundays

Soul Food for Sunday 26th November 2023, The Feast of Christ the King

Reflections 26th November 2023
Matthew 25:31-46

The Author: Barry Leonard
calendar_today Date: November 19, 2023 - 3 minutes read

As we celebrate the feast day of Christ the King, we reflect on the Kingdom of God. The Magi journeyed to welcome a King of Kings, and, on reaching their destination, knelt to honour him in a humble manger. Christ the King entered the world but was not the king anybody expected. This king had no army, no palace and no gold. Instead, he preached and lived the Kingdom values; Jesus, the teacher, preaching the same ideals that would ignite the missionary flame in our founders and in generations of confrères and lay members of our Spiritan community. 

Working in a Spiritan school offers both the opportunity and obligation to impress upon our students the responsibility that we all carry to be counted among the righteous – to see the face of God in those less fortunate, and to show kindness and compassion to those in need.

The seven core values of Spiritan education – Openness to the Spirit; A Sense of Community; Option for the Poor; Commitment to Service; Global Vision; High Educational Standards and Personal & Faith Development – provide opportunities for our students to live their faith through action and are expressed in the daily life of our schools in many ways. 

  • The Spiritan Ember programme, which links Fifth-Year peer mentors with First-Year students, allows the older boys to model behaviours around how we treat each other, to call the younger boys by name, and to express and deepen their faith through the various retreat, liturgical and prayer moments shared throughout the year. 
  • Immersion programmes undertaken by the schools to Africa and South America follow in the footsteps of those Spiritan missionaries who dedicated their lives to helping those in need and encourages our students to reflect on how they can use their gifts to act as global citizens. 
  • The work undertaken by student St. Vincent de Paul conferences and similar groups challenge our students to recognise the privilege in their lives and to act as advocates for social justice in our communities.  

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the King, we reflect on what the Gospel calls us to do, to think about our actions and to align them with Christ’s teaching.

  • Are we living lives as witnesses to the word?
  • Do we see the plight of those on the margins through the Lord’s eyes?
  • Are we authentically acting out the Gospel values in our daily lives, welcoming the un-welcomed, and, in doing so, welcoming Jesus himself?

Let us pray that these questions continue to challenge us as we look forward to the coming of the infant King of Kings. 

Image by Thomas from Pixabay

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Barry Leonard

A staff-member of St. Mary's College Senior School since 2001, teaching Business, Maths and Wellbeing, Barry is the school’s Deputy Principal since 2016. He has led several College immersion trips to Ghana and has volunteered with the Irish Pilgrimage Trust and the Vincentian Lay Missionaries in Ethiopia.