Message from the Chaplain: 15 June 2023


This week we held our family day services in the Junior Schools. Thanksgiving services for families are familiar in the Christian tradition. The first Sunday after Christmas is celebrated as the feast of the Holy Family. Although Mary, Jesus and Joseph each have separate feast days, we must honour their life together as a family.

The scripture reading on Monday was from Luke 2: 41-52, the finding of Jesus in the temple. The reflection in the chapel service touched on the moment in the gospel where Jesus returns to his parents and is obedient. So, what does that mean, in terms of growing up, maturing, the honour of family, and the honour of God the Father? In the service, this biblical passage was paired with Caravaggio’s painting, The Madonna, and the Serpent, which depicts the Virgin Mary, with Jesus stepping on the head of the serpent – the symbol of sin- while St Anne looks on. This painting is part of a tradition in art where artists have wrestled with the question: how does the Virgin Mary inform the growth of Christ?

These two questions are a recurring theme throughout the different chapel services. How do families and teachers inform the growth of children? We cannot leave it to chance that children will learn the difference between right and wrong as they mature.

As the painting by Caravaggio suggests, we must be intentional in forming young children if we want them to grow up to love what is good and hate what is evil.


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