Celebrate St. Patrick

The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! Behold the deeds of the Lord,
the astounding things God has wrought on earth.

Psalm 46:8-9

When I taught, I enjoyed celebrating special days with my students. Our activities included lessons regarding these observances of our holidays and heroes. We decorated our classroom and completed related projects. Occasionally, we engaged in impromptu discussions. One year, this occurred on St. Patrick’s Day. A colleague sported a green hat, shamrock pin and a temporary name tag which misspelled her name with an “O” before it. Had she provided the same for me, it would have read “Mrs. O’Penich.” Some of my students were intrigued by this display and asked me to explain. I responded with St. Patrick’s story.

As a teenager, Patrick was captured, taken from his home in Scotland and imprisoned in Ireland. While there, Patrick spent much of his time in prayer. This helped him to feel close to God. When Patrick escaped and returned home years later, he became a priest. Eventually, Patrick felt that God wanted him to go back to Ireland to teach the people. I explained that our Irish friends celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because the Irish people were and continue to be grateful to Patrick for sharing his faith with them. Good teacher that I was, we continued this discussion by listing other important people and the reasons we honor them. In the end, all concerned hoped to accomplish something worth remembering as well.

Trusting God, you call each of us to do important work in your name. Help us to respond as Patrick and so many others have. Fill us with the dedication and the courage we need to answer your call.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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