Always New Beginnings

26 May

“There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises’. Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.”  ~Orrin Hatch

There are certain times when a beginning is very official.  Races are one thought that comes to mind.  God help you if you begin running before the starter’s pistol goes off or if you plunge into the pool before the official start.  It is necessary to wait for the right moment.

Graduations are some of those “official start” moments.  While they end one chapter in a person’s life, they open the next chapter.  They mark not an ending, but, a beginning.

This evening, our eighth grade students will celebrate their commencement after a Baccalaureate Mass.  I am certain that they will have many memories going through their minds during the Mass.  They will remember when they first began school here with all their classmates or when they transferred in to our school.  They will remember academic accomplishments.  They will remember sports triumphs.  They will remember achievements in the arts.

Their parents will be strolling down memory lane as well.  They will probably be going all the way back to the birth of their sons and daughters.  They will remember their first faltering steps and their hesitation or excitement at beginning school.  They will remember mending bruised knees and broken hearts.  They will remember their children’s accomplishments as well as defeats.

Throughout all the memories, our graduates and their parents will also be looking ahead.  This fall begins a new chapter as the students go on to high school.  For the vast majority, that merely begins their education in high school, college, graduate school, and beyond.

We have all engaged in this process at one time or another in our lives.  Looking back and looking ahead can be very exciting as we consider not only where we have been but where we are going.  Let this serve as a reminder that as we look back, we should try to see where God has been in our lives.  As we look forward, we need to invite God to walk with us.

This is a big, scary world.  Alone, we will not make it.  But, with God’s help, so many things are possible in our futures.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for our eighth graders who graduate this evening and for all our parishioners who have graduated high school, college, or graduate school, that they ask God to accompany them on their new beginnings.