Oki! Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. It is always a pleasure to come to Pincher Creek and celebrate the graduation of our students from St. Michael’s. Congratulations to our St. Michael’s Graduates of 2019.
What a great theme you have chosen for your graduation this year, “Shine your Light; Follow your Path.” I want to begin my comments by quoting a passage from Luke’s Gospel. Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar or under a basket. Instead, he sets it on a lampstand, so those who enter can see the light.” The reason that passage is so important is that Jesus is not speaking about a lamp but rather about you and me. He wants us to shine our lights brightly for the whole world to see. And what are our lights? Well, they are our own gifts, talents and treasures. They are what define us and what make us unique from one another.
Unfortunately, our society doesn’t always want us to shine our lights brightly or worse don’t see the benefits of our lights. Our media in general and society as a whole gravitates to power and monetary success and we get sucked into believing that is the path to follow. Violence is glamourized, sex sells, inappropriate role models are idolized and we are told time and time again that we are just not good enough! And if we believe we are not good enough, then we put others down to make ourselves feel better. We attack each other verbally or physically, through social media or face to face. We play favorites, express jealousy or shun people altogether. By doing so, we want another person’s light to be hidden.
What a sad commentary on our society and if the truth be told, we’ve all had moments where we didn’t feel good enough and we’ve also had moments when we wanted to keep the light of others hidden. But what if… we all took your grad theme to heart and began to shine our own lights, to share our gifts and talents not solely for our own personal gain but for the betterment of one another? What if our light shone so brightly that we not only followed our own path toward a more kind and just world but, it lit the way for others to follow that same path?
Remember that God doesn’t create junk! You are good enough and the only thing that God wishes is for you is to become the best version of yourself. You won’t know that if you don’t let your light shine. You may be tricked to follow a dark and wrong path because you didn’t shine your light first. Each of you has so many gifts right now. Some of these gifts may already be well known to you while others may need to be teased out and the rough edges buffed up. But they are there and so find them and then shine them brightly.
Life is not always easy and there will be times when it is pretty dark. It is especially in those times that you must let those God given gifts and talents provided to you, to shine brightest. Shine your light and follow your path. Go forth and live the life that God intended for you! You are unique and you are special!
Congratulations on your graduation and may you always continue to shine your light brightly and follow your path. Thank you and God Bless!