(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 15 May 2017–Feast of Saint John Baptist de La Salle)
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
On the teacher’s desk in room 116 is a yellow post-it note with a quote from an inspirational man named Greg Boyle that says “No kinship, no justice. No kinship, no peace.” Let me say that again … “No kinship, no justice. No kinship, no peace.” What is kinship? The dictionary tells me that it means a kind of family relationship between people. Relationships. With seniors nearing the end of their high school experience and the rest of us looking towards the end of the school year, many of us are thinking about relationships or trying not to. The relationships that we have with family, with friends … with teachers, with students … with husbands, with wives … with boyfriends, with girlfriends … with the person whose locker is next to mine, with the person I park next to every morning … with strangers, with people we’ve never met. In this world of instantaneous and constant contact, a world that seems to encourage thousands of Twitter followers instead of a handful of deep relationships, I wonder how often we really dedicate ourselves to deepening the important relationships in our lives. “No kinship, no justice. No kinship, no peace.” I think the single thing that I love the most about being part of the La Salle Academy community here in Providence and the Lasallian community around the world is our emphasis on relationships – deep, one-on-one, smartphone-less relationships. Everything we do here is based on relationships – students, teachers, administration, guidance counselors, administrative support staff, coaches, security guards, maintenance staff, lunch room staff, campus ministers – lay people and Brothers of the Christian Schools. We are something in this world because of the “kinship” that binds us together.
The Brothers of the Christians Schools celebrate today our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. 350 years ago, Fr. John Baptist de La Salle’s life was completely changed by relationships, some ordinary and some extraordinary – his relationships with Jesus Christ, with his family, with Adrien Nyel, with the early Brothers, with their students. Those relationships defined his life. We know him 298 years after his death because of those relationships and the effect that they had on the generations of young women and men who have been touched by them. What I’d like you to do today is to put down your phone or your laptop and think about this question (PAUSE): “What deep, one-on-one, smartphone-less relationships am I nurturing and putting work into now that will affect the way I am remembered 298 years after I die?” Relationships are everything. Humans are built for relationships. Without relationships we are nothing. “No kinship, no justice. No kinship, no peace.”
Let us pray:
Lord God – you who are Three in One, you who are relationship by your very nature – open our minds and hearts to one another. Truly open us to each other so that we can develop relationships that will echo through eternity, like our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle did. Lord, be close to those who feel most isolated today and inspire those around them to reach out to them in love. We ask this through Christ the Lord. Amen.
St. John Baptist de La Salle … pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts … forever.
Charles da Silva–Religion Teacher