A Good Word for Graduates

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3rd Sunday of Easter

A Good Word for 2024 Graduates

Fr. Frederick Edlefsen


“Why are you troubled?”  Christ asks this in today’s Gospel (Luke 24:38).   In John’s Gospel, he says, “Be not unbelieving but believe” (John 20:27)!  “Whoever believes in me will never die” (John 22:26). 

Put aside anxiety. “Consider the lilies of the field.  They neither toil nor spin, yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these” (Matthew 6:28-30).  These are good words from Christ to graduates and to all who are starting a phase in life.  Like lilies, God clothes you with grace. 

Despite today’s overwhelming problems, there’s a spark of brightness.  That spark is you.  There’s hope in the questions that young people ask these days.  Today, people raise good questions and propose new ideas for a better world.  Don’t let disappointment shatter hope.  Disappointment is a fact of life, and it makes you mature.  Disappointment makes us face reality with humility.  But disappointment is not life’s last word.  Jesus Christ is the last word.  

Sixty years ago, the Catholic Church made some bold proclamations: 

“In the face of the world’s modern development, the number constantly swells of the people who raise the most basic questions and recognize them with new sharpness: What is man? What is this sense of sorrow, of evil, of death, which continues to exist despite so much progress? What purpose have these victories purchased at so high a cost? What can men and women offer to society, what can they expect from it? What follows this earthly life?” (Second Vatican Council, “Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World”, Gaudium et Spes, 10)

“It is only in the Mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man becomes clear.” (Gaudium et Spes 22)

“The Gospel of Christ constantly renews the life and culture of fallen humanity… It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples…. It makes fruitful the [cultures] of every people of every age. It strengthens, perfects, and restores them in Christ. Thus, the Church stimulates and advances human culture.  By her action, also by her liturgy, [the Church] leads people to inner freedom.” (Gaudium et Spes 58)

Dear graduates, be generous.  In the grace of your Baptism and Confirmation, build a better world.  “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:12).




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