As I look in the mirror the one thing I can be certain of is change. Whether it is a new wrinkle or another grey hair, change is an ever present reality in my life. At Tintern Schools we are at that time in the year where we are experiencing the passage of time and the movement of life that brings change. Year 12 have departed to sit exams. With some mixed feelings, they move forward into a new stage of life. Our Year 6 students are preparing to finish their Junior School education and experience a new way of learning. For each of us in the change that we experience this can be a journey which brings with it a sense of grief and joy.
Throughout my life there have been many significant people who have shared my joy and grief. They have influenced me in the directions I have taken in family decisions, places I have lived and my vocation. Some have already left this world, while others offer me models for living and personal support. In the Church there are significant people who are particularly called to live Godly lives and are often referred to as saints. It is not unusual for us to also use the term saint when we are acknowledging a particular act of kindness or care by an individual or group. For those who are honoured for this religious dimension the Church celebrates their contribution in a day called All Saints. This day normally falls in and around the Cup day weekend. Coupled with this festival is the celebration of All Souls, reflected by Halloween. We are invited to remember and give thanks for those individuals and groups who have especially been precious to us. Through this remembrance we try to bridge the gap between life and death, between Earth and Heaven. We glimpse something of what St. Paul refers to in scripture as the new Heaven and the new Earth.
The Stories of the Gospels also reflect this journey of change, with grief and loss. The experiences of the early apostles as they shared the journey of Christ bear witness to the human nature that we share with Him. In this journey God invites us to open ourselves to the reality of this change in our lives and those around us. As we travel on our journey to the end of this year may we remember to give thanks for all who have been and continue to be special to us. In our daily life at school, work and home, may we find ways to grow closer to God, who calls all his saints and souls to live in harmony with His World. As we laugh and cry may we know the ever present reality of the grace of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Peace to you all