Chalice illuminated with light

At this time of the year, many of us are celebrating (or we have celebrated at some point in our lives in our various social circles) a lot of graduations: Kindergarten, 8th grade, high school, college, and so on, and this was true of our school this past week too.  We gathered together to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our graduates.  Congratulations!  Well-deserved!  We are proud of you!  And we recognize in these moments too the blessings we have, the people who have helped us reach our goals, and we are filled with gratitude.  Especially, thanks be to God for his graces that have accompanied us throughout our journey.  Our graduations celebrate not only our accomplishments, but also serve as a commencement as we move forward to the next chapters of our life’s journey.  Indeed, we are called to put everything we learned into practice, and we take those memories, those lessons, and those people that have been important to us – we take all of these with us as we make those next steps.  We wish you well.  Make us proud.  By the same token, thank you for forming me and teaching me and being a part of my journey as I ‘graduate’ from here and take those next steps for my own life and for the Church.

I shared with our graduating students in my homily during Mass, “This evening, you will receive in your hands the diplomas that you worked so hard to attain, and will be recognized for your learning and growth as a person, but in a few moments, I will place something infinitely greater into your hands.  You will receive the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, the infinite God of the entire universe, who has humbled himself to be close to you, to strengthen and nourish you.  Your diploma will serve you well for the next stages of life, but the Eucharist will serve you for all eternity.”  This year, our students learned from St. Teresa of Avila, that “If you took all of the good works done by all of the humans who have ever lived in all of history and stacked them all up and multiplied them by a million, they wouldn’t equal the merit, the virtue, and the worth of one Mass.”  We’ve just celebrated the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the feast of the most Holy Body and Blood and Jesus.  May we be renewed in our understanding of the Mass and be inspired to turn to God in the Eucharist to be nourished and strengthened in our life of faith.  And as every Mass concludes with a commencement ceremony – “Go in peace” – may we go forth and put into practice all we learned as we live out our calling in the world.

Finally, Happy Father’s Day to all of our Dads!  I shamelessly will use this bulletin space once again to say, “Happy Father’s Day” to my own Dad, the original ‘Father’ Luke (since I share your namesake).  I’ll try not to overdo it, since I am tearing up now as I write this (joyfully so), thinking about all the things I want to say, and knowing that everybody is reading this besides and that you and most Dads don’t want this kind of attention.  But we’ve shared a lot of life together, ups and downs alike.  And though neither of us is perfect, far from it, through all the stories and life lessons and growing up and activities and absences and travels and work and helping each other out, you continue to be my inspiration and my hero.  The more I reflect upon my life and God’s calling for me, the more I have to say, “all I have ever wanted was to be a Dad like you.”  And it is really cool to be a “father” amongst fathers and to care for God’s family as such.  Indeed, for my own spiritual life, my original and best image for relating to God in prayer for who God is and what God is about is that of a Father still, in large part because of you.  Thank you.  I love you.  


~ Father Luke