Grace, Good Works, & Gratitude
Posted on December 10, 2019
The month of November at Good Shepherd School began and ended with joyous celebrations. On November 1, thanks to the fruitful efforts of Heather West, our students joined Catholics around the world in celebrating All Saints Day. Together, we commemorated the faithful men and women who have attained heaven—those canonized as saints by the Church, as well as those unknown—whose lives exemplify the intimate connection between God’s grace and the good works He gives us to do. Saint Paul reveals this connection in Ephesians 2:8-10:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;it is not from works, so no one may boast.For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”
As Catholic educators, it is our responsibility to lead our students to ponder the “good works that God has prepared [for them] in advance.” We spend our days instructing in academics, modeling Christian virtue, and observing and mentoring our students. We witness great moments of kindness, sacrifice, academic achievement, and delight. We rejoice in our students’ triumphs.
Perhaps most satisfying for our excellent teachers, are the challenging moments that clarify the unity of God’s plans for our own lives and those of the children entrusted to our care. We understand the great compliment Our Lord gives us, when He calls us to witness our students’ missteps, disappointments, and hurt. We embrace these beautiful opportunities to love our students, support them, and demonstrate what is expected of them as unique and irreplaceable children of God. These are the magnificent moments that help realign our students’ hearts—and often our own—to God’s will.
We often reflect that the one word that defines our Good Shepherd community, more than any other, is gratitude. So, it is fitting that we ended the month of November with a jubilant celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, which was organized by our upper elementary school teacher, Theresa Bruton. It was wonderful for students and teachers to spend the afternoon before Thanksgiving break enjoying friendships, playing football, feasting on turkey cupcakes, and giving thanks to our Creator for the great blessing of our lives.
On behalf of the staff and faculty of Good Shepherd School, we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Please know how very grateful we are to be a part of this beautiful school community.