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"YOU BE THE CHANGE"
I am privileged to be associated with the family of St. Xavier’s school Rampura phul. I am proud of hearing about the great achievements in academics and cultural activities of this school. The parents and the people of Rampura phul are very loving. Having worked at Bathinda and Talwandi Sabo gave me at times occasions to visit Rampura phul. The surroundings are not the same. Earlier it was of greenery but today there are residential areas. People of different places have settled due to the school and for jobs. Status and standard of the people has gone up. Has Rampura phul undergone a great change?
St. Francis Xavier had a great love for India. He treated Indians as his brothers and sisters, as children of God. As the gospel states Jn. 4/16 ‘And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Leaving his own country, Navarera in Spain, he came to an unknown land to share his experience of God’s love. He wanted to bring a change in the peoples life, that people may live in Love.
People are always seeking for a change albeit on a sub conscious level. Changes are of two types. Material change and Spiritual change. A person was a poor man, he had not his own house, he did not own a car and he did not have good food. But one fine day he gets education then gets a good job by which he is able to have his own house, a car and good food. We call this a material change. On the other hand there was a cruel man who cheated others, killed someone and was disliked by everyone. This cruel man one day experiences God, he realizes his mistake, changes himself and becomes a loving person. We call this a spiritual change. A Material change always presupposes sadness and dissatisfaction. Where as a spiritual change will presuppose a longing for an inner joy. A Material change presupposes competition, hatred and anger. A Spiritual change presupposes love, caring and sharing.
St. Francis Xavier himself experienced the spiritual change. He belonged to a noble family who had all the luxuries. But he lacked the spiritual depth. St. Ignatius of Loyola, changed his attitude to life by quoting the gospel. Mt. 16/26 “ What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul ?” St. Francis then on renounced everything to follow Jesus’s teaching of Love and service.
Education brings a change from ignorance to enlightenment, despair to hope, sadness to joy and untruth to truth. It may bring a material change but without a spiritual change education will have no meaning. Education based on spiritual values fosters a holistic human growth.
May I sum up with the words of Leo Tolstoy.“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Let each and every student and teacher be a leaven in the dough, creating an atmosphere of Love, friendship, tolerance, forgiveness, peace, joy, understanding, hope, determination, perseverance, responsibility etc.
Rev. Fr. Saturnino Mascarenhas
St. Xavier's High School, Rampura Phul, Punjab.