Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

Bulletin Article May 18/19

rom the Pastor

Congratulations to those from our parishes who are graduating from high school or college this year. It is one of the most exciting times in the life of a young person. I remember both of my graduations and I’m still grateful for them today. The many years of study and hard work give way to newly discovered freedoms. The graduate enjoys the freedom to choose where to live, what job to pursue, and what to make of life in general.

Without a good moral foundation, there is a great temptation for the new graduates to either chase after the worldly pursuits of fame, fortune, and wealth or to be lazy and not accomplish anything in life. The temptation of the first approach comes from our materialistic culture, and the second often comes from a lack of personal discipline.  Neither approach is good. Both are a threat to their eternal salvation.

If our graduates know the Catholic Faith that Jesus gave us, they know that we are people of purpose, vision, and energy. By living this faith, beginning as young children, we develop personal discipline which allows us to successfully deal with each temptation that this world throws at us. In addition to our daily jobs, we realize that God has a moral and spiritual mission for each of us here on earth. The Bible readings we have been hearing at Mass remind us the way we love and glorify God is “by accomplishing the work” our Father in heaven has given us. This is what Jesus did and we must do.

As we celebrate Pentecost this Sunday, we are reminded that the Church is meant to have a strong missionary focus. Before ascending to heaven in last week’s gospel passage, Jesus commands us to “make disciples of all nations”. We might doubt and wonder how we are to do this. Pentecost reminds us that just as the early Church was wonderfully empowered by the Holy Spirit, so too does the Holy Spirit wish to empower us. However, this only happens if we truly desire to do the daily work that God asks of each of us.

So to our graduates, our world needs missionaries more than it needs more people with technical or liberal arts degrees. Our world is technically more advanced than it ever has been, yet our social and moral problems are as great as any previous generation. Graduates, do not forget that among the many good things God wishes you to accomplish in life, the most important of those is being part of the missionary activity of the Church.

Remember that the greatest mission field of the Church is the home, the place where parents raise children to be faithful followers of Christ. Missionaries must also leave the home and travel to other parts of our country and world to accomplish their God-given work. In any case, the Church has the answer for what our world needs, but in order to share this with others we need to be willing to sacrifice our time, talent, and treasure as previous generations so wonderfully did.

Blessing on your week,
Fr. Miller


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