Feast of Saints Philip and James
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. …Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. …Amen, amen I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.”
It’s that time once again for High School graduations.
This morning I celebrated a farewell Mass for over two hundred High School seniors (all girls). The call to prayer was heartfelt and very emotional. It left many of us in tears. They will miss us, but not as much as we will miss them.
I love these kids. They are wonderful, even though right now they are full of emotion and low on energy. Thank God we have graduation in the spring, before the days get hotter than heck.
Well, while I was vesting for Mass, I noticed the writing on one of our senior’s shirts. It read: “Senioritas.” I started to laugh when I noticed the senior was kind of taken aback. So I told her that her shirt reminded me of when I was a senior, and how we all suffered from “SENIORITIS.” She said, “Oh, that’s not what this means. It means ‘Señoritas’.”
“Oh! I guess what you see is a combination of what is in front of you plus the attitude you have.”
This is what I said, and I soon discovered what my homily should be! Here is a summary of it.
I am reminding you, brothers and sisters. St. Paul wants to remind us of what we have received. We know we have received a lot in our lives. Even now we are receiving grace upon grace. So be careful to not allow yourselves to slack off, for some of you are now saying: “Five days left, what’s the point in trying” or “I could get a zero in all my exams and still pass!”
Are you surprised that I know? I have my little spies. Actually, someone pointed out to me your tweets!
No! Please no! Don’t give in and don’t give up! That’s not your style. Do you know who you are starting to sound like? Do you know? You’re starting to sound like the students at an all-boys school! (just kidding).
I am reminding you… of the Gospel I preached to you. St. Paul is reminding the Corinthians of the faith they have received; of the hope they are to give and of the love they are to share. Do you understand? Did you forget? We have so much faith in you, hope in you and love for you! This is the good news! It comes from the Good News we have received. Stay strong in the Lord!
That’s a long shot! Every time I look out at you, I see something very special. You are all special; and special is not dependent on successful. It is dependent on life. Life is special. Do you need to be reminded of this? Personally, I used to think that if everyone was “special,” then no one was really “special.” I know better now.
A while back I went to a Texas Ranger’s baseball game. I went with a very beautiful family, three girls. They have one daughter who is a senior, another who is a sophomore and another who is in seventh grade. The youngest is a gem. Always happy. Always smiling. Always joyful. She is a little saint. Full of love, life and faith. I’ve never heard her say a bad thing about anyone or anything!
Well, during the game and out of nowhere, she said she hoped a baseball would come to her, you know, a pop up or a fly ball, etc. The young man, accompanying their eldest daughter said to her, “Well, that’s a long shot, especially because of where we’re sitting. That ball would have to take one wicked curve to end up here.” Not long after that, the batter hit the ball, the ball took a wicked curve and ended up in the seat in front of the youngest daughter. She didn’t even have to catch it. She got it and smiled.
The young man, who wants to be an accountant, was stunned.
We are all special. “You” were a long shot. “Earth” was a long shot. Everything you see is a long shot. But what you get not only depends on what you see but also the attitude that you have. Have the right attitude. Have a good dose of faith with reason, and you’ll get a good reason for faith.
That’s been my experience of lately. I have come to see what I never saw before; especially since my attitude began to change, and change for the Good.
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. It’s obvious. But just like life, the Lord reminds us, because it’s easy to forget. It’s time that we all graduate to this truth.