“With Eyes of Faith”: An SEHS Benediction

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Mr. Owen Williams '13, St. Edward Theology Teacher

Friends,

As we begin a new academic year at St. Edward High School, I am struck by the joy, zeal, and all around positive vibe present on our campus.  I can feel our community’s renewed commitment to our Holy Cross mission, rooting ourselves once again in faith, excellence, relationships, and servant leadership; it is inspiring and invigorating.

Blessed Basil Moreau wrote that “Education is the art of helping young people to completeness; for the Christian, this means education is helping a young person to be more like Christ, the model of all Christians.”  In reflecting on Moreau’s words, I keep returning to a line in Mark’s Gospel, which Jesus exclaims as he heals a deaf man: “Ephphatha!,” meaning “Be opened!”  I love this insight, especially in a world that all too often encourages us to be closed–to God, to one another, to even the possibility that hope might exist.  But, this is not how we are made; we are made to live with hearts wide open, to live as people who deeply care, who live our lives to the fullest extent.  Without the openness that Jesus calls us to, we simply cannot go about the important work of educating our hearts and minds; we are incomplete.

This year, we seek to see all things–people, experiences, ourselves, God–with eyes of faith.  Jesus comes to us daily.  Whether or not we see him is up to us, though.  To be Christian means to learn to hear the voice of Christ in the ones who have no voice, to see the face of Christ in the ones the world rejects.  When we welcome Jesus in those around us, we welcome the one who makes us complete, who helps us become our full, beautiful selves.

In the Gospel passage I mentioned earlier, in one of the most intimate moments in all of the Gospels, Jesus touches the deaf man’s ears and his tongue.  Each day, Jesus is opening the ears of our hearts, so that we might come to recognize him all around us.  Let us commit ourselves to seeing ourselves, others, and God with the eyes of Jesus, who always stands with those whom the world sees as unworthy or not good enough.

As we go about our daily work of moving toward completeness in the spirit of Blessed Basil Moreau and the Congregation of Holy Cross, we pray for the grace to be opened, to enter in, to have eyes of faith, hope, and love.  Only then will we become more like Christ, who always loves first.

Peace,

Mr. Williams ‘13