Dear Mr. Yeung, Miss Lin, Mr. Ho, all teachers and students,
Good morning, and welcome back to school after some rest and relaxation during the summer vacation. I guess all of you were able to spend time with your family members and friends. I am glad to see all of you back with enthusiasm to start a new academic year and face the challenges ahead of us. If we pause and look around, life is becoming more challenging especially for teachers as well as for students. Both need to work hard and face all kinds of challenges with courage.
Recently, I had read a book entitled The Power to Influence People written by O. A. Batttista, a Canadian scientist. I was inspired by the following words: "Life is like a magic vase filled to the brim. When you dip into it or draw from it, it overflows into the hands of those who drop treasures into it.
Drop in kindness and you will receive understanding.
Drop in charity and you will receive love.
Drop in hate and you will receive malice.
Drop in envy and you will receive criticism.
You alone control the treasures that life overflows into your heart and hands. Watch carefully what you put into this magic vase".
I started reflecting on my own life and asking myself what I had dropped into my magic vase. What is the role I play in others' magic vases? What is my attitude towards life?
Dear teachers, I appreciate and thank all of you for your hard work and dedication. I am confident that every one of you here are capable and caring, you have the magic power to influence our students, and you are able to help and bring out the best from them.
Dear students, I invite you to reflect on how you influence your schoolmates, classmates, friends and family members. You need to make the best use of every single opportunity given to you, because today's opportunity may not be tomorrow's opportunity. Sometimes we may think of postponing things, and leave the tasks we need to do right now to tomorrow. But remember, yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not be ours, so make the very best use of today and fulfil all that you are supposed to do. Time is precious. So do good to everyone when you have an opportunity. Stretch out your helping hand to everyone in need. Honestly, every one of you are lucky because you have an opportunity to study. In fact, there are so many youngsters like you in the world where they cannot receive any education. So, dear girls, do not waste the resources and opportunities at hand. I also hope you have taken some time to reflect on what you have done in the last academic year so that you will plan well to work hard and learn more. Learn to strike a balance between your studies and other activities. I wish all of you will make some progress spiritually, morally and intellectually. Do remember that you are studying in a Catholic school run by FMM sisters. Therefore, learn from Blessed Mary of the Passion, our Mother Foundress, to love, forgive, sacrifice, obey, and to live simple life style. Try to spend at least 5 minutes a day to calm down yourself and pray. Ask Jesus Christ to guide you in the right path. Trust Him at all times, for He is faithful and powerful and is able to fulfil all His promises. However, remember to do your part. Let us cultivate the habit of positive learning atmosphere.
Dear students, I have high expectations on all of you and request all of you to do your best and take necessary steps to improve yourself. First of all, I would like all of you to behave well at all times, and be honest in all your dealings. Secondly, love truth and live our school motto "Through Charity to Truth" in your daily lives. Finally, do show respect to everyone regardless of power and position. Love your school, teachers and classmates. Let your sense of belonging grow stronger. Have confidence in yourself and believe in your abilities and also believe in your school, your Principal, Vice Principals, teachers and sisters who are always here to love, support and teach you to distinguish right from wrong. Of course, we care about your character formation as it is also part and parcel of the growth.
Dear teachers and students, if we look into the Bible, the most powerful word is "love". Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you". St. Paul said, "without love, I am nothing". And we are fortunate to work and study at St. Rose of Lima's College, because we have the greatest example of love: Blessed Mary of the Passion, who lived with love and whose life was love; and so she was able to say, it is only "Through love, We know love". Yes, my dear teachers and students, let us learn to love one another and sacrifice ourselves for each other. Actually, unless I love and experience what love is, I cannot love somebody. Therefore, as we are working and studying at St. Rose of Lima's let us learn to be loving, in all our ways. Let us learn from St. Francis of Assisi, who was able to embrace simplicity and poverty and live a joyful life.
"Let no one ever come to you without feeling better and happier. Be the living expression on God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." These are the words of Mother Teresa. Let all of us be the living expression of God's kindness. Give the best we have and God will give us in return. Please let us reflect and renew our lives. My dear teachers, let us strive to imitate and become more like Jesus Christ the true educator, who taught with compassion and who touched the lives of the crowds who listened to Him. Dear students, on your part, strive to be God's loving children. I wish all of you a very happy and successful new academic year. May the good God bless and keep you and your families closer to Him. Be assured of my prayer and friendly support. Thank you.