Many thanks once again to all who offered prayers over the last few weeks for my family as we mourned the loss of my grandfather. Please continue to pray for the repose of his soul and for peace and consolation for my family. Know that your prayers are indeed a source of consolation for all of us.
Our parish events during this beautiful month of May wonderfully complement the joy that is characteristic of the Easter season. In the last few weeks, our parish rejoiced as our young people received the sacrament of Confirmation, and other young parishioners made their First Communion. Not only was there cause for joy because of the sacraments themselves, but also because those Masses produced full churches. Would that our churches were that full every Sunday! Additionally, our Divine Mercy devotions added solemnity to our parish feast day.
This weekend, as you noticed, we honored our soon-to-be high school graduates. Please continue to pray for them as each of them embark on a new beginning. “Beginning” is certainly the right word (hence why we call the ceremony commence-ment). Each of these young parishioners begins the concrete process of discerning what paths to take as they now navigate the waters of the “real world.”
However, although graduation entails a new beginning, we continue to pray that some not-so-new treasures will sustain them as they move forward. These, of course, are the Church and the Sacraments. No matter what our graduates face down the road, we pray that they keep the Faith, find shelter in the spiritual protection of Holy Mother Church, and stay close to the sacraments as their source of strength, wisdom, and consolation. Here, it is worth thinking of the Eucharist as St. Augustine so famously describes Christ in his Confessions: “Beauty ever ancient, ever new.” May our graduates always turn to the ever ancient beauty of Christ and his truth as they enter into the often turbulent new waters of this world!
To our graduates- always keep in mind these words that Pope Benedict XVI spoke to young people at his first public Mass as pope:
Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.
Blessings to you all!