Are you OK?
I was recently reminded of the very Christian connotations that this question implies. God asks all those who wish to keep his commandments to, “love your neighbour as yourself.” (Lev. 19:18)

So are you ok?
As Year 12 approach the end of their HSC and the final examinations there can be a lot of pressure. Not only for the students but for the parents as well. It is indeed a stressful time and focussing on what really matters in life can help put things into perspective. Despite the pressures we all face in our daily lives, we can take a moment or two to stop, think and pray.

“Lord have mercy.”

This simplest of prayers can have the power to help us re-focus. To bring God to the forefront of our mind, even for a moment, so we can have the peace and strength to carry on. If we can find our own peace, even during stressful times, then we can turn to our neighbour, our friend, our fellow student, our co-worker, our fellow parent and truly listen to the answer as we ask, are you ok?

In the month of September our church celebrates the great feast of the universal exaltation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross. A time when we remember not only the historical finding of Christ’s cross and its later exaltation in Jerusalem but its spiritual significance in our lives. The cross reminds us that Jesus was crucified for our salvation. The cross reminds us that Jesus died so we can live. The cross reminds us that Christ went willingly to be sacrificed for our sins to be forgiven.

Because, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up [on the cross], that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14-15)

But why?
Because, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

When we approach the Lord in the stressful times in our life and ask for his mercy, He does not condemn or judge us; He offers us love; He saves us.

As we remember God’s love for us, we are reminded to share that love that we have received, with others and to genuinely ask, “Are you OK?”

I await your answer.

Fr Dimitrios Papaikonomou
School Chaplain