A Good Ending

24 May

“The good ending dismisses us with a touch of ceremony and throws a backward light of significance over the story just read.”  ~ John Updike

John Updike was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic.  He passed away in 2009 and left a great legacy to the literary world.  His stories, whether short or novels, were always filled with rich descriptions of his characters.  He knew how to bring writing to life.

There are many people in our parish family who have or who soon will celebrate endings: the conclusion of their academic years in grade school, high school, college, or graduate school.  As this year’s endings come about, they do so in a much more chaotic and subdued way.  Gone is all the pageantry of a graduation as social distancing requirements necessitate other means.

We will be celebrating our eighth graders’ graduation this coming Thursday at a private Mass for them and their immediate families.  While there is so much more I would want to do for them, this is all that is allowed at the present time.

As our many graduates — grade school, high school, college, or graduate school — come to the end of their academic years, they, indeed, look back.  They look back to the time when they first began.  That looking back might be the beginning of looking forward to new academic times or to new jobs.  Their looking back might also fill them with heart-tugging nostalgia as they remember friends who came into their lives at early ages and may soon be leaving them for parts unknown.

Life is a continuous ebb and flow. We truly never know what will come about until we experience it.  One thing is certain, though.  Our past prepares us for our future.  Our past, properly used, will give us all the tools that we need to move forward.  The successes of our past should fill us with hope and joy, knowing that more success awaits us in our future.

One thing is certain: we never quit learning.  Whether or not the end of this academic year marks the end of schooling for us, we will always have the opportunity to learn more. Opportunity is one of God’s great gifts to us.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for those who are graduating this year and preparing to move on to the next phases of their lives, that they may invite the Lord to walk with them into their futures.