This is the season of graduation for many families of our parish. On Tuesday night I was privileged to celebrate the graduation Mass for our eighth grade students at Holy Redeemer School. Though I have only known them for nine months, they are truly a joyful, friendly, faith-filled, and talented group of young people.
The Gospel that was chosen for their Graduation Mass this past Tuesday evening was from Matthew, where Jesus tells his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the earth.” I preached to them about discovering the salt and light within themselves, where the brilliance of their souls shines more brightly than the sun. I also spoke about our tendency to doubt our inner worth and goodness. We are so critical of ourselves most of the time. If a tree can have many knots on it and still be beautiful, why not human beings? The key is to learn to accept ourselves and our life situation just as it is, by God’s grace.
I also encouraged the practice of the prayer of gratitude, learning how to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. This practice brings salt to our lives, because we learn to savor the goodness that is always surrounding us and underneath everything.
I talked about Holy Redeemer not just as a place, but a place that bears the name of Christ. How often do we think of him when we speak of Holy Redeemer? He is the true salt and light of the human race. If we put him first, he will reveal himself to us. He is especially present as salt and light when we receive him in the Eucharist. I urged the graduates to remain faithful to Christ in the Eucharist, and to take Christ as their guiding light for the journey ahead.
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” At their graduation, I suggested that the Holy Spirit was now saying “Set apart for me Adam, Sierra, Noah, Ayiana, Liomar, Taliya, John Paul, Delmy, Lucas, Payton, Max Ducom and Max Meier, Marcella, Alondra, Blake, Grace, Anthony, Musea, Aidan, and Quincy, for the work to which I have called them.”
May the Class of 2019 always have the salt and light of Christ in their lives, and may they be salt and light wherever their life’s journey shall take them!
Yours in Christ,