I hope you enjoyed your week off by relaxing and spending time with family and friends. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s not about gift giving or receiving, but is a day set aside to take the time to be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives.
This year my family joined another Star family at Sts. Peter and Paul to assist with serving Thanksgiving dinner and distributing clothes to those less fortunate. There were many moments during this time of volunteerism that I was reminded of how much I take for granted: a whole cup of juice, a bountiful plate, my family’s ability to gather together to experience the joys of the season, and our continued good health.
I was again reminded of these moments of gratitude while reflecting on this week’s gospel (Matthew 25:31-46).
Thus, we honor Christ by acknowledging that he is within all of us, and by responding with care and compassion towards the people around us.
As we enter the Advent season and the increasingly busy time of preparing for Christmas, we will be offered opportunities to respond to others and ourselves with compassion and care. At school, our sixth graders will be going to the Food Bank. Gift giving lists for our Christmas families have already been distributed. And our Advent practice of inviting students to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation will allow each to also practice care and compassion for themselves.
December also gives us much to look forward to. There are a number of upcoming field trips and class activities. Our Annual Christmas Concert is on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 5pm. All students are part of this joyful celebration. The change in date and time is due to sharing the church with our thriving parish and Ms. Bruno’s concert schedule with the other schools at which she works. The annual Guadalupe Mass is scheduled in the church after our concert and all are welcome to attend. Both offer ways in which to forget the rush and craziness of the commercial holiday season and get in touch with the true meaning of Christmas.
While December is a short month at school, it is packed with lots of events and good cheer. And that is what Advent is all about, the next four weeks will be spent waiting, with joyful anticipation, for our celebration of Jesus’s birth. He lived among us, not as a person of wealth, power, or authority, but as a poor man who spent His time among us feeding the hungry, teaching us about God’s love, forgiving sins, and healing.
And each day here at Star, no matter what time of year, we teach our students to be the sort of people who reach out to others, no matter how rich or how poor, with care and compassion.
May you find time to be compassionate towards yourself and one another this week,
Mrs. Theresa Poon