It is graduation season again. This time of year always upsets my timelines! Last week, an extended family member graduated from a college in Ohio – quite a ways to get to. Another is graduating this weekend but it is close by. I wonder what advice Benedict would give them? I think I would link them up with his WYD addresses, in particular, the ones from Cologne. In my imagination, I think Benedict might have put a lot of himself into those first ones. He thought he was an old man who would have a short pontificate. So, I imagine he said to himself – what should I say? in a way that was different later on. Of course, this is all in my imagination. What is not are the words he left behind which can be found here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/travels/2005/index_cologne-wyd2005_en.htm
I think this passage is what he would still tell them. It’s one he repeated throughout his pontificate. I’m sure he prays for it today. And, so although it is a homily, I am praying that this advice and vision is accepted and acted upon by all of our graduates around the world. It is taken from here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20050821_20th-world-youth-day_en.html
“Once again, I must return to the Eucharist. “Because there is one bread, we, though many, are one body”, says St Paul (I Cor 10: 17). By this he meant: since we receive the same Lord and he gathers us together and draws us into himself, we ourselves are one.
This must be evident in our lives. It must be seen in our capacity to forgive. It must be seen in our sensitivity to the needs of others. It must be seen in our willingness to share. It must be seen in our commitment to our neighbours, both those close at hand and those physically far away, whom we nevertheless consider to be close.
Today, there are many forms of voluntary assistance, models of mutual service, of which our society has urgent need. We must not, for example, abandon the elderly to their solitude, we must not pass by when we meet people who are suffering. If we think and live according to our communion with Christ, then our eyes will be opened. Then we will no longer be content to scrape a living just for ourselves, but we will see where and how we are needed.
Living and acting thus, we will soon realize that it is much better to be useful and at the disposal of others than to be concerned only with the comforts that are offered to us.
I know that you as young people have great aspirations, that you want to pledge yourselves to build a better world. Let others see this, let the world see it, since this is exactly the witness that the world expects from the disciples of Jesus Christ; in this way, and through your love above all, the world will be able to discover the star that we follow as believers.
Let us go forward with Christ and let us live our lives as true worshippers of God!”
I couldn’t figure out how to change the font to reinforce this is my own voice. But my stating that should send the message! I think this is Beautiful! So I say – Amen!