2020-21 Benediction

Theology teacher Mr. Williams ’13 reflects on the upcoming school year

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St. Edward’s 2020-21 theme calls us to stand side by side with all people.

Friends,

We read in the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, “Resurrection for us is a daily event.”  We hear this line recited frequently, but we must not simply hear it, we must live it, making it a part of our being.  The Cross is always followed by the Resurrection.  This day, September 16, is a special day of resurrection; it is a day of great rejoicing and joy, as we join together again to begin the good work of seeking truth in this new year. 

We begin this academic year with deep gratitude: for our family and friends, who have accompanied us through this challenging time; for our administrators and staff, who have worked tirelessly since March to guide our community into the new school year in the midst of much uncertainty; for our faculty, who have, once again, committed themselves to the work of forming young people’s hearts and minds in the spirit of Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC, no matter the obstacles that are ahead; and for each other, for the kinship we give and receive in this place, as we stand side-by-side, carrying crosses and celebrating resurrections.  Let us take a moment–today and all days–to be grateful for what we have here in the St. Edward community.

A frequent question asked of you, I imagine, is some iteration of “Why did you choose St. Ed’s?”  While the responses may differ from person to person, let us live our lives in a way that makes it so people can see what makes this place special, what makes it “home,” and what makes it the dwelling place of God in which love is at the center.  And so, I offer three “credos” in which to root our being this academic year:

  1. Be people of compassion and kinship.  The Persian poet Hafez writes of an invitation from the Lord: “Come dance.”  Jesus did not just serve and preach to the people.  Jesus hoped, from deep within, that He and the people would be one.  We read in the Constitutions, “As disciples of Jesus we stand side-by-side with all people.  Like them we are burdened by the same struggles and beset by the same weaknesses; like them we are made new by the same Lord’s love; like them we hope for a world where justice and love prevail.”  Let us commit ourselves to oneness, because from oneness come compassion and kinship, and from compassion and kinship come justice and love.  Come dance.
  2. Be people of the Resurrection, and bring the Hope it promises to all.  The Cross has beauty.  The Cross has meaning.  We read in the Constitutions, “We must be people with hope to bring.  There is no failure the Lord’s love cannot reverse, no humiliation He cannot exchange for blessing, no anger he cannot dissolve, no routine He cannot transfigure.  All is swallowed up in victory.”  No matter the struggle we face, let us always be people rooted firmly in the hope of the Resurrection.  The world needs it.
  3. Be people of love.  You and I are the beloved of God.  That capital-T Truth is the core of your identity and mine–not what we do, not what we have, and certainly not what others think, but simply that we are loved in a radical way by God, as we are.  Share this with everyone you encounter.

I remain steadfast in my conviction that living by these three “credos” will continue to make St. Edward High School a beacon of light for the world.  Because, ultimately, this is why we are here: to bring light, to bring hope, to bring love.

May the Lord bless each of us, as we go about the work of making Him known, loved, and served together.

Peace,

Mr. Williams ‘13