“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)
This Sunday at the 10:30am Mass we will celebrate our graduating seniors and bless them as they embark on the next leg of their journey, whether they head down the street or to another part of the world. We are grateful for their contributions to our community and we pray that they continue to represent us well as members of our global church.
It is fitting this year that the Graduation Mass falls on Pentecost Sunday. As we celebrate the liturgical sending of the apostles, our graduates will have the opportunity to look back on their own journey over the past four years, in preparations of being sent into whatever comes next for them. Our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles is the story of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples and allowed them to speak the different languages of those gathered in Jerusalem. This passage was also read at their Confirmation liturgy three years ago. It’s a passage that we refer to often in our high school ministry as we call our students into leadership roles as fully initiated members of the church. In the second passage from 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about spiritual gifts—our own unique way in which we can contribute to the world around us.
The readings from Pentecost are a wonderful reminder to each of us that like the early apostles, we’ve been given the same spirit through our Baptism, confirmed and made full in our Confirmation, and re-invigorated every time we celebrate the Eucharist together as a community. We give thanks to God for this great responsibility and we take seriously the mission given to each of us to be sent out into the world in order to use the gifts God has given us to further His kingdom here on Earth.
This is a moment in time that we prepare to send our graduates into the next leg of their journey; and yet, it is also a moment for us as a church to reflect on our own mission. How do we, as a community and as individuals, continue to strive to live up to our parish mission statement to be a, “welcoming Eucharistic Catholic community called by God to live out the message of Christ in love and service to all”? Just like the early apostles, everyone has a part to play in the success of this mission. What is yours?
Director of Confirmation, Youth & Adult Ministries