The theme for 2017 is "We are the light of Christ through Peaceful Service.



We are the Light of Christ through Peaceful Service

Following on from last year and taking our lead from Pope Francis, our theme this year will keep the phrase ‘We are the light of Christ’ and add, ‘through peaceful service’. This can be interpreted in many ways, but for St Anthony’s this year, we will be focussing on finding peace within, in order to serve others. There will be a large emphasis firstly on meditation and contemplation and secondly on service.

The image that we will be using for the year has been designed within the school and each element has symbolic significance.

Firstly, if you look at the hands, they resemble the shape of a heart – our giving comes from a place of love. They are open and presenting.  There are darker shades around the hands, this reminds us that we all have elements of darkness in our lives, but they are not barriers which prevent us from opening up and sharing our light with others.

Moving to the light inside the hands, you’ll notice the stronger orange rays take on the shape of a cross, this cross represents the Light of Christ that we each carry. The light represents our personal and individual gifts, the offering of ourselves.

The concept of peaceful service is brought to light in John’s Gospel (John 13:1-19) when Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Luke’s Gospel reveals that this act of humble service occurred at a time when the apostles were fighting among themselves about who was the greatest. Jesus, in this act of service, demonstrates that he is equally at home with the exercise of power, and the humility of servanthood. 

Obviously leaders today live in a world that is immeasurably more complex than it was one hundred, much less two thousand years ago, the simple truth is that people long for leaders who put the interests of others ahead of their own, who are willing to do what is right above what is easy or politically expedient, and who are not afraid to lay their reputation on the line for a cause and a vision that is vastly bigger than themselves.

Jesus' leadership was different for his day - and for our day too. He always looked for the perspective of the least among the group. This was not the top-down hierarchical style of the day. Instead he emphasised collaboration, trust, empathy, and an ethical use of power.

Being a leader who follows in the footsteps of Jesus means we must understand service; that leadership is not lording over others; nor is it about being a doormat; but rather rising to our own potential and reflecting the value of others back to them.  In our lives we should always be mindful of opportunities to lead in this way.