But what do I mean by Christ?
As I said to my Year 7 class recently, Christ is not Jesus’ last name. As some of you may know, the word Christ roughly translates to “anointed one” or “blessed one”. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we’re believing in something much bigger than the historical incarnation of God that we call Jesus. Jesus is the visible map. However, the Christ, includes us and includes all of creation since the beginning of time (see Romans 1:20).
As Richard Rohr, an American Franciscan Priest, Academic and Author states, “light is not so much what you directly see - as that by which you see everything else”. In other words, without light we see nothing and with light we see everything. This is why in John’s Gospel, Jesus Christ makes the almost boastful statement, ‘I am the Light of the World’ (John 8:12). Jesus Christ enables us to see as God sees, if that is not expecting too much.”
Scientists have discovered that what looks like darkness to the human eye is actually darkness with tiny particles called “neutrinos”, slivers of light that pass through the entire universe. Apparently there is no such thing as a total darkness anywhere, even though the human eye thinks there is. John’s Gospel was more accurate than we realised when it describes Christ as “a light that darkness cannot overcome”. Knowing that the inner light of things cannot be eliminated or destroyed is deeply hopeful. And as if that is not enough, John’s choice of an active verb, The true Light...was coming into the world, shows us that the Christ Mystery and that God does not just dwell in Jesus but dwells in all of creation. As it states in Genesis, “God saw and light was good”. Hold onto that!
Our Liturgy Captains will now process down with each of the House Candles. They will light their new House Candle from the College Candle, symbolising that the source and strength of our Houses is our larger College Community.
Firstly, I ask the Liturgy Captain of Chanel, Tamar Mazmanian, to come forward with the Chanel House Candle. St Peter Chanel followed Christ’s light to the Pacific where he spread the Good News with vigour and courage. We pray that this candle may be a source of inspiration for the girls of Chanel as they reach outwards and upwards.
I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Chavoin, Eva Vumbaca, to come forward with the Chavoin House Candle. Jeanne Marie Chavoin was the flame that ignited the Society of Mary, we pray that this candle be a reminder of a woman of strength, humility, realism, and prophetic insight who proclaimed the timeless message of the Gospel by living Mary’s example.
I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Colin, Emily Hansen, to come forward with the Colin House Candle. Jean-Claude Colin was guided throughout his life by Christ, firstly to acknowledge his calling to join the priesthood and then throughout his leadership as the Superior General of the Society of Mary. We pray that this candle will be a symbol and an inspiration for all members of this house to follow Colin’s example to see Christ in each other as they strive for Unity within Diversity.
I now ask the Jaricot House Captains, Charlotte Chambers and Ella King, to come forward with the Jaricot House Candle. Jesus Christ called us to help those in need, to help those on the periphery of society. Pauline Jaricot worked tirelessly and selflessly for the poor. Inspired by her example, we pray this candle may remind us of Christ’s presence in all of humanity and may He illuminate the right path ahead even if this is the path less traveled.
I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Marcellin, Rebecca Dearing, to come forward with the Marcellin House Candle. Marcellin Champagnat was set ablaze by the Holy Spirit to bring Christ to the countryside of France through education. He was both passionate and compassionate for the Gospels and he aimed to create a family spirit at his schools and amongst his Brothers. We pray that this candle will inspire the girls of Marcellin to treat everyone they encounter with equality and dignity as they strive to emulate this sense of family spirit.
I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Perroton, Xiomara Barahona-Gordillo, to come forward with the Perroton House Candle. Marie-Francoise Perroton, was a woman with a vision. She acknowledged that Christ allowed her to see beyond herself and beyond France. Even at the age of 49, she traveled to the Pacific as Christ’s humble servant. She had the courage and determination to turn ideas into action. Inspired by her example, we pray that the girls of Perroton acknowledge the light that led Marie-Francoise on her journey through life is the same source of hope for their journeys.
We pray that these candles will be the light in which we can see Christ not just in Jesus but in all of creation including ourselves and others. We pray that this may help us develop relationships in our Houses that reflect his love. Together we bless these candles today by together saying our College Prayer.”