School Community Jigsaws (Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar)

I usually give significant time and thought to any one blog post, returning to texts and other media as I travel. But today I feel moved to tread the road less travelled by, just as Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar did a couple of thousand years ago.

This morning I attended the early mass, as usual, at our local church. The mass was said in celebration of the Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas – 6th January) – the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (the 3 wise men).

Monsignor began his sermon by talking of a visit he made to the home of a member of the parish, this week. Monsignor was drawn to a picture on the wall, one that he recognised as a Canoletti; a view of Venice. He said that he moved across to it, sensing there was something odd about it. Monsignor discovered that it was in fact a jigsaw. Intrigued, he asked about it. The parish member told Monsignor who had completed the jigsaw and then went on to tell him of those people; their stories. Monsignor went on to artfully put this tale to work as he extracted his message from the words of today’s gospel.

The whole episode got me thinking. Truth be told, it doesn’t take much to trigger a line of thought in me. Ask anyone who knows me, I am apt to jump around a bit in conversation.

To the point…

It strikes me that our school communities are jigsaws and every piece has a story to tell. Every piece is key to the bigger picture. Indeed, if all pieces are not accounted for the picture cannot be complete. Accept that and we have to say that no one piece is more important (more powerful?) than any other.

Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

John 13:16

Equally, every picture represents a moment in time. Time passes… The view may shift, affect an altered hue, or even be transformed. Even so, the law holds, the jigsaw is incomplete without all pieces on the table.

With the three magi in it, the nativity scene at the foot of the altar in our church now looks complete. The jigsaw is complete. We would do well to think on our school jigsaws as being incomplete without accounting for the many pieces representing families and community members. And they all carry their own stories. Much as those who assembled the jigsaw that drew the attention of Monsignor carried stories, as shared with him.

This short thinkpiece relates directly to Friday’s post…

2 thoughts on “School Community Jigsaws (Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar)

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