Jn 6:1-15 Senior Farewell

Friday of the Second Week of Easter
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Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.  A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick…[H]e said to Philip, “where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do…One of his disciples, Andrew,…said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

I have two hands, two feet, two eyes and one nose.  I can see for myself the needs of my fellow human beings.  I can actually walk over to them and offer them something to eat.  I can place my hands upon their shoulders and let them know they have nothing to fear.  

But I must admit there are also some things I cannot control or change and that require the Lord’s assistance.

He said this to test him.   Jesus asked Philip where they could buy enough food for everyone to eat.  He said this to test him.  What was the test?  To see if they would ask for help. 

When I am having an awful day, do I ask the Lord for help?  Do I run to Him or run away from Him?  Do I stand firm in the faith or do I resort to sinning and robbing the Lord an opportunity to get involved in human concerns and affairs?

He said this to test him.  Would he ask?  Would anybody begin to pray? 

I will serve.  I can help.  I can make a difference.  But I will always need help.  There are some things I can and cannot do alone.  There are some things I can do with the help of others.  There are some things I cannot do even with the help of others. 

I can help, but I can always use some help.  “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth“ (Ps. 124:8).

Senior Farewell Mass.  This morning I celebrated the Senior Farewell Mass at Ursuline Academy.  This is what I said.

“I don’t like farewells.  I even tweeted I don’t like farewells.  They seem to come up faster and faster every year.  I don’t like to make a big deal about graduations; after all, there are some schools that are even celebrating Kindergarten graduation!  Give me a break!  But you know what?  It’s okay.  It’s all good.  It’s better to err on the side of too many celebrations than fewer celebrations.  And though I don’t like farewells, I recognize why they are important.  They force us to stop what we are doing to better appreciate those we love. 

These young ladies have come so far.  Today you are wiser, smarter and a lot stronger than you ever thought you would be.  You’ve learned from each other’s joys and mistakes and from  your own joys and mistakes. 

These past four years have opened your hearts and minds.  You have come to the realization that you were not as strong as you thought you were – Don’t worry. This has made you stronger – especially in times of temptation and trial, but above all in your convictions and beliefs; and how easy – almost comical – it was for you to justify just about any decision you made.  

By the grace of God, you have come to understand yourselves better, and that when push comes to shove, its a lot more tempting to push loved ones away rather than embrace them. 

But I think the greatest lesson you learned was in regards to personal happiness and how doing what you thought would make you happy didn’t always make you as happy as you thought it would. 

Now you are ready to leave.  I know you are.  You have everything it takes to be a holy or “good” person.  [I like holy better than "good" because it's a lot more objective and I can at least put a face and name on it.

Dear young ladies, you know what it takes to persevere; to get back on their feet.  You know Who and What never fails.

I am the way, the truth and the life…no one comes to the Father except through me. 

This saying is no more annoying than someone saying, “It takes talent and hard work to be the best.”  This is the truth:  He is the truth.

You have been loved from afar.  Dear graduates, you have achieved success on and off campus.  You have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships; you have been accepted to study at some of the best schools in the nation; you have participated in mission trips and have won championships. 

You have been loved from afar.  

We have followed you, lovingly and spiritually.  We have attended your games, concerts and performances.  We have prayed for you.  I have prayed for you! especially during your TAPPS Girls Soccer Division I championship game.  Boy, did I pray for you! I prayed every minute until you won.  [I followed that game like I have never followed any game in my life, not even the games I played in!!!]

Now seek only one thing:  to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of your life.  Be holy.  Be a saint.  Be holy in whatever you do.  Be a saint wherever you go.

I don’t like farewells, but we need them to congratulate and better appreciate those we love…even from afar.

And you have loved from afar.   (0)

Fr. Alfonse (815 Posts)


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