On April 22nd, I had the great experience of being the celebrant for the “Grand Reunion” Mass at the high school that I attended many decades ago. It was a truly inspiring gathering because the venue for the Mass was filled with former students and classmates and it was a great day to rejoice not only in the Paschal Mystery, but also in the Divine Mercy Sunday devotions with the fellowship and fraternity of former students and colleagues.
The Gospel really hit home. The “doubting Thomas” Gospel was the one for the day and the filled chapel left no doubt in my mind that the lessons learned many years ago from our teachers in high school still had a great impact on our religious practices and beliefs. Those present were certainly those “blessed who have not seen yet believe” and the participation and singing in the Mass really inspired me and encouraged me in my vocation as a religious priest.
I mentioned this to one of my classmates after the Mass, and he suggested that not only the sound teaching that we experienced in high school but also the example of our teachers had such a positive impact on us that spirituality had become a constitutive element of our makeup. I was so humbled to hear him speak this way and then when I began to think about it and remembered both the teaching and example of so many of our teachers, I realized how full of truth my classmate’s remark was to me.
I was honored to be singled out to celebrate the Eucharist at the gathering and it made me stop and give a special thanks to God for my vocation just as the impact of the reunion made so many of those present to stop and give thanks for their respective vocations in the ministry of proclaiming the Paschal Mystery and Divine Mercy in their respective lifestyles. It was a great time to rejoice in fellowship and particularly so by beginning with the celebration of the Eucharist…..all of those who are blessed who believe even if they have not really seen, but have experienced the Divine Mercy in their lives.