By Ryan LeBlanc, E.D. Feehan High School Chaplain
Beloved and beautiful graduating class of 2019:
In the Gospel today, we find Jesus between where he was from (Galilee, where he began preaching) and where he’s going (Samaria, the non-Jews who also need his salvation).
You are also going through the region between where you began and where you’re going. And so today Jesus is with you in this place of both excitement and nervousness, both celebration and sadness.
In that in-between place, when we reflect on the goodness of the past, but the goodness of the future is hidden from us, we often wonder whether God, community and ourselves will be as faithful as we have been up until now. Whether the Feehan Family will continue as this graduating class goes forth into many different and separate adventures. Whether we will “make it” as we have “made it” to graduation.
Jeremiah has a message for you: God’s got it all planned out. It’s a good plan, one which heals all hurts, and you are free to find and follow it. God won’t keep it a secret from you, but will guide you in every step that you ask him to. And it will lead you where you need to go, where your deepest desires are met.
Maybe at the beginning of high school, you “kept your distance” from Jesus, like the ten lepers. Maybe you still are. That’s OK. Even from a distance, Jesus hears when we cry out for mercy, for healing. We cry out for all sorts of healing: “I’m too lazy! I’m too awkward! I’m too selfish! I’m too hyper! I’m too angry! I’m too afraid! I’m too lost! Master, help me!”
Whatever ‘dis-ease’ we still carry, Jesus can heal it. He will always respond when you call out to him, and trusting him always restores us to wholeness.
Did you notice the one leper who returned, now coming right up to Jesus to thank him?
He was a Samaritan. Jesus told them all to show themselves to the priests, so that they could come back into the community. But the Samaritan was not allowed in the Temple: the community had made no room for him, not just because he was a leper, but because he was a foreigner.
That’s what St Paul’s talking about in his letter to the Romans: “nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Even though the community still excluded the Samaritan, that just drove him closer to Jesus, the human face of the Loving God. That’s what the hardships and distress you will face can do – just drive you closer to God’s love.
After today’s celebration, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” Realizing how your passions, your gifts, and the great need of the world will meet each other will be both your greatest joy and your greatest suffering – a sure plan towards a life fully lived.
You go into new adventures with our love in your hearts – an eternal love which we have received. From all the Feehan Family, thank you for your time with us and every blessing on your time to come.
(Find “ThinkCatholic” by Ryan LeBlanc online at thinkcatholic.weebly.com )