(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday morning, 22 February 2016–Poverty Week)
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God.
In yesterday’s gospel we heard it proclaimed:
Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
Today we kick off our 3rd annual Poverty Week. This week all of our departments including our cafeteria will come together to shine a light on poverty through unique and varied instructional practices based on each subject and teacher.
Why do we do we devote a whole week to being intentional about poverty education? We have to look no further than our own Mission Statement which states in part, “The Academy endeavors to provide an academic environment which helps to instill in its students a respect for life-long learning. Students at La Salle Academy are prepared to become responsible citizens of the twenty-first century through the development of the ability to think rationally, logically, and ethically; to communicate effectively, orally and in writing; to process information; and to utilize technology as a tool of learning and decision-making.”
In Sunday’s gospel passage, Jesus takes his friends up to the mountain top and they are so excited by what they see that they want to move into tents and live there forever, because they have seen God. The end of the passage [which is omitted] is that the next day they came down the mountain. There was work to be done, teaching, healing, and the building of the Church. Likewise, when we look at our Mission Statement, we can’t be satisfied with being Lasallian here at La Salle. It’s not enough for us to pray, go to Mass when asked, do mandatory Christian Service hours, and take religion classes. We know we are called to do more.
It is the responsibility of all of us, but especially the adults here, to create a desire in you young people to go from the great La Salle, and spread the message of Jesus, John Baptist de La Salle, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and the Lay teachers you see every day. We want you to live intentionally, so that your decisions as an adult are mindful of others, especially the poor. So often we can avoid poor areas and poor people just as our Founder did in 17th century France. Just like John Baptist de La Salle, our salvation is tied to the care for the salvation of those who are less fortunate than we. As the Brothers’ revised Rule states, “They are convinced that an education which promotes the internal development of individuals makes them open to the grace of God and the light of faith.”
What awesome power is contained in this building. When I start to imagine what all of you are capable of down the road, I am overcome with what you all might be. Your achievements would be too numerous to name, but at the end of the day you will be called Lasallian, sons and daughters of John Baptist de La Salle–Men and women who are builders of God’s kingdom. This week I encourage all of us to open our hearts and minds with faith and zeal to the creative lessons our faculty has planned for us so that we might bear witness to lives lived on the margins of society and grow closer to God’s chosen ones, the poor among us.
Let us pray.
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
St. John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever.
Margaret Naughton–Campus Minister