On behalf of the parishioners of St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes, I want to extend hearty congratulations to our young women and men who are graduating from high school this Spring. You are approaching a significant milestone in your lives.
As Catholic Christians, our Faith offers us the basis for going forward with confidence and hope. The gateway to that happiness for which we yearn is that of acknowledging and accepting our limitations. Hopefully, we will want to avoid drifting into situations for which we may not be cut out. For example, not everyone is equipped to go to college. A number of persons simply do not have the intra and interpersonal qualities that are essential for marriage, at least not yet. We are in for a lot of pain and hardship if we go to college or get married basically because this is what our siblings or friends are doing.
We will also want to avoid going in specific directions with our lives as a result of being pressured by others to do this. Well-meaning influential persons in our lives have high hopes and expectations for us. No one should ever feel pressured to go to college, to get married, to prepare for the priesthood or religious life, or to go in directions for which they are not equipped and for which they have no desire.
At the heart of the Gospel that we celebrate is the assurance that we are unconditionally loved and accepted by the Lord for all that we are, beginning with our limitations and weaknesses as well as with our gifts and potential. Hopefully, starting in our families, this aspect of the Gospel message is experienced and lived out. Sensing that we are unconditionally loved and accepted for all that we are frees us to accept and to acknowledge our limitations and not to be ashamed of this. For example, some of us learn that we simply aren’t equipped to go to college, nor do we have the desire to do this. Not going to college does not strip us of our dignity as God’s children. As we develop, a number of us learn that we don’t have the gifts and qualities that marriage calls for. This awareness should not lead us to be down on ourselves. The Church has always acknowledged the single life as a dignified vocation.
Our Faith offers us the strength to accept and to acknowledge that which limits us. As we are open to receive this strength, we will grow in the ability to be comfortable and at home with ourselves. We won’t want to run away from Whose we are. In this way, we will grow into the ability to receive more and more that which the Lord would give to us and do in and through us. Specifically, this comes to expression in the lifestyles that are open to us in the light of our Faith, namely those of remaining single, entering into sacramental marriage, serving as a priest or embracing religious life. In the light of our Faith, we are loved by the Lord through others in the Church into one of these life-styles. Our response to this is most important. From within ourselves, we will want to proactively embrace the lifestyle to which we each are called and relate to it as a unique opportunity to grow in God’s love and to witness of this to others.
The Lord would thus give to us and do in and through us far more than we could otherwise envision or imagine. Isn’t this the kind of success to which each of us is called? It is for this that the gracious acceptance of our limitations sets us free.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor