First off, I just want to thank you all for your patience and positive feedback as we begin another school year. On the first day of school the student body gathered to pray a rosary. As we were praying the rosary, I asked Our Lady for inspiration. It occurred to me that I had nothing prepared to say to the students, and then suddenly it hit me - dynamics and dignity.
No school year is ever the same as before. Each new year features different dynamics: new classroom arrangements, new faces, and new phases of maturation. In spite of outward changes, the inward dignity of each child never changes. We reminded the children that their value does not depend on how they look, how they perform, or even who they will become. Instead, their value comes from the fact that each person is created in the image and likeness of God. The inestimable value of each child informs every facet of our mission.
In a general audience back on March of 2013, Pope Francis referred to connection between respecting human dignity and coming out of ourselves:
What does being Christian mean? What does following Jesus on his journey to Calvary on his way to the cross and resurrection mean? In his earthly mission Jesus walked the roads of the Holy Land; he called twelve simple people to stay with him, to share his journey, and to continue his mission. He chose them from among the people full of faith in God's promises. He spoke to all without distinction: the great and the lowly, the rich young man and the poor widow, the powerful and the weak; he brought God's mercy and forgiveness; he healed, he comforted, he understood; he gave hope; he brought to all the presence of God who cares for every man and every woman, just as a good father and a good mother care for each of their children. God does not wait for us to go to him, but it is he who moves toward us, without calculation, without quantification.
It is my prayer that we continue the mission of Jesus by moving outside our comfort zones and going out to those around us, to affirm the unequivocal dignity of every soul and show others the grandeur of our shared destiny.
May the intercession of Junipero Serra empower our hearts to always move forward as missionaries of Christ.
Yours Truly In Christ,