This Sunday we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. On this day, we see the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit upon his Apostles. And as we know, the Holy Spirit will transform the lives of these Apostles. These frightened men who abandoned Jesus at his Passion will be transformed into bold witnesses who clearly show that they not only understand the teaching of Jesus but also are willing to put his teaching into practice. They will endure persecution, suffering, ridicule, and other forms of trial as they preach his Good News. They will heed the call of Jesus to go forth and make disciples of all nations.
As mentioned previously, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has invited us to follow the example of the Apostles and truly embrace the Holy Spirit in our lives. In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), he stated, “There is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead, letting him enlighten, guide, and direct us, leading us wherever he wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysteriously fruitful.”
As we reflect on these profound words of Pope Francis, and as we celebrate this great feast, we also remember at this time of the year our loved ones and friends who are graduating from various levels of education. Unfortunately, graduation exercises are approached in a very different manner due primarily to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus. Most graduation exercises have to be done remotely through some form of online technology. However, we still strive to honor our graduates in a personal way for their accomplishments.
The following “Prayer for Graduates”, provided by www.guideposts.org, the author unknown, asks Our Heavenly Father to guide and bless our loved ones and friends who are graduating:
Surround those who are graduating with Your grace.
Bless them with hope so they move into the future with eager and open hearts.
Help them to put the knowledge, skills, and insights gained through their education to use for the good of all humankind.
Inspire them to believe in the goodness of life even when faced with challenges and difficulties.
As they commence with their lives, may they grow ever more grateful and wise.
All of this we ask in the name of Jesus, your beloved son. Amen.
We encourage the families and friends of our graduates to take this prayer to heart. And as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, we are challenged to allow the Holy Spirit to come into our minds, and into our lives, and into our hearts as we strive to cope spiritually in these difficult and uncertain times.