Being young men of Deeds and not Words alone!
“This charism of liberation, compassion and presence drives us and draws us into closer relationship with Christ, with each other and with the earth itself.” EREA Charter
Inspired by Jesus, Blessed Edmund Rice saw a need in his local community and created educational opportunities for the young boys of Waterford. As young men of St Virgil’s we are encouraged to look beyond ourselves and become men of ‘Deeds not Words Alone”. As we reflect on the end of another busy term, we remember the words of a well-known story from the Gospel of Matthew.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
We might ask ourselves, ‘How is this story relevant to me? What does it mean to clothe and feed someone or to be present with someone who is unwell, imprisoned or a stranger?’
Many of us have taken up the challenge to be servant leaders and to bring this Gospel story alive though our actions. Throughout Term 3 on Friday afternoons, Grade 7 and Grade 8 students packed hampers at Foodbank so that a hungry family had food to eat and they spent time in the company of the residents at Strathaven and Strathglen. Others made the personal choice to stand in solidarity with the people of Kiribas and Tuvalu by amplifying their voice at the recent Global Climate Rally. Many of our families have donated clothing to the Vinnies Winter Clothes Drive and our Boots & Bras East African Sportswear appeal. Funds were also raised for sick children in Hobart hospitals through the Give me 5 for Kids campaign. And this is only a small example of the many everyday moments when St Virgil’s students look beyond themselves to feed, clothe, visit and care for others and demonstrate the Edmund Rice Charism of liberation, compassion and presence.