St John's College is proud to welcome Father Odinaka Nwadike to our community. Father Odinaka's installation was celebrated Sunday 14th February at St Jospeh's Church. The following is an extract from the Parish Newsletter on the reading of the day, Mark 1: 40-45. Our school community were represented by our Principal, Chris Gold, Assistant Principal, Fiona Baker and the Prayer and Ritual Captains, Eliza Claridge and Claire Walsh. We have already enjoyed the pleasure of Father's presence at our Opening Mass and look forward to seeing him round the College and at various events.
“The Law gives wise direction, but it needed Jesus to show its inner heart of love, and to explore its true covenantal meaning. Jesus is the only one who breaks down fear, reserve and taboo by actually dealing directly and compassionately with the outcast. He had no fear of the disease or the wretched victim and was able to show God's love to the worst outcast. “if you want to, you can cure me'… 'Of course, I want to! Be cured!' And the leprosy left him at once…" Throughout his ministry Jesus emphasized the value of every human person by overcoming prejudice and bringing healing. Just as he died so that we can live, so he became an outcast in order to redeem the rejected: Jesus' action is disturbing and challenging, and it invites contemplation and reflection on the nature of society and our prevalent attitudes.
Century by century, people have thought about what Jesus said and did, have been led to new insights, and have begun pushing back the barriers of prejudice, fear and ignorance. If we feel daunted or unable to do as he did, and mix with 'outcasts', then at least let us listen and learn, and be open to his transforming love, even if we do the minimum that St. Paul asks of us: “Never do anything offensive to anyone but try to be helpful to everyone at all times." He adds the most important insight “so that they may be saved." Even our smallest attitude of openness and acts of kindness can play its part in Jesus' loving plan. In this way we will be working for, and towards, the greater glory of God, and the spread of his Kingdom."
Fr Odinaka Nwadike
(With thanks to St Joseph's Parish, Nambour for allowing permission to use this image.)