In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Let us remember…
Welcome Mullen class of 2024 to your senior year. This is a very important time for each and every one of you personally, an important time for your family, and an important time for our Mullen community. On the one hand, it is true, the simple fact of continuing to be around from year to year has brought you to this moment. Every year we have a senior class, and it is composed of those who have completed their junior year. It is true, from one perspective, you haven’t done anything particularly different from all those senior classes who preceded you in arriving at this moment. From another perspective, however, and the one that is important to us in our LaSallian community, we see a new call from God upon your lives. It is natural to acquire authority and influence with age. It is natural, because God Himself wants it that way. God Himself, in the very way that he created your human nature, gives you increasing influence over your fellows as you age. Because God Himself is increasing your influence and authority naturally, he is calling you to use it for good, for his purpose, for the benefit of our community, and by extension, for the benefit of humanity itself.
In today’s first reading, we see the early Church sending representatives, Judas and Silas, to present and deliver an accurate message to the Gentiles. They were sent, because others had been misrepresenting the Christian way of life, “we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind.” Today, we are sending you in much the same way: you are being sent to represent the Christian and LaSallian way of life to the incoming freshmen, the sophomores, and the juniors. You are our best candidates for this task because of your experience and God-given influence.
Influence and authority should not be confused with power. Authority, when you understand it correctly, is a service. When you use your influence to help others grow and become themselves, to make good decisions, to inspire greatness in them, you understand the value and importance of authority. You have been through all the classes here, you know what the underclassmen have to face in terms of teachers and assignments. You have struggled with peer pressure, you have struggled with figuring out how to belong, you have struggled with balancing school, family, friends and everything else. The rest of the school, especially the incoming freshmen, will be looking at you and wondering, “how did they do it?” You are not simply becoming seniors: we are entrusting you with, and conferring upon you the role of senior, and we expect you to represent the core values of our community well.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus presents the heart of this great calling to you. “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends…” You know what we are about here at Mullen and you are now our friends in this great mission. You will all be turning 18, and will be expected by our society to enter adulthood. You are no longer children, and your relationships with adults will begin to become more like relationships with equals. That makes you our friends and real collaborators in the mission of our school, and we want you to have an even more active role in our community. This will require some sacrifices.
Look at the way others have sacrificed for you in your time here at Mullen. They sacrificed because they love you. As seniors, we are asking you also, to make those sacrifices that you’ve seen other seniors make before you – or the ones you wish they had made. Sacrifices of taking the time to smile at a freshmen to make them feel welcome, seen, and that they belong here with us. Sacrifices of leadership in clubs, or sports. Sacrifices of service and generously giving your time and yourself. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is your call, we are eager to see how you will respond.
St. John Baptist de la Salle
Live Jesus in our hearts.
In the name of the Father…