Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Advice to Graduates

Does anyone remember their high school or college graduation? The ceremony, the people, or the wise and unforgettable words of the commencement speaker? OK, I admit I have no idea what any of the speakers said when I graduated. Not that I wasn't paying attention, but for something to make a lasting impression on me, it really needs to be meaningful.

I played at our parish school graduation Mass on Monday. Instead of the usual "strive for excellence" and "follow your dreams" advice that is heard from most commencement speakers, the graduates received a great lesson for life. As our pastor pointed out, in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus gave them the best advice they could possibly get.

When he saw the crowds, 2 he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Mt. 5, 1-12
As parents, what type of advice are we giving our children as they begin a new chapter in their lives? Are we giving them advice that they will soon forget or are we providing wisdom for their life here on earth and for our life to come? The choices they make in life are influenced by how they are formed. What good is it to gain the whole world but lose one's soul?
God bless all the 2010 graduates.

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