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“God Has Created You and Holds You in His Provident Hands” — Bishop McManus’ Matriculation Remarks

“God Has Created You and Holds You in His Provident Hands” — Bishop McManus’ Matriculation Remarks

Posted: August 22, 2020

Audio

by the Most Rev. Robert Joseph McManus, S.T.D.
Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts
Remarks at Matriculation
Thomas Aquinas College
New England Convocation
August 22, 2020 

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. We had everything before us ...”

These sobering words are from the first sentence of Charles Dickens’ classic masterpiece, The Tale of Two Cities, and I would suggest this morning that these words can also describe the last several months of the last academic year. When you returned from your Christmas holidays and entered the academic homestretch of 2020, you, the students of Thomas Aquinas College, could never have imagined how your school year would be upended and so radically changed by the unseen but terribly lethal coronavirus. No doubt, an unsettling uncertainty came over you. And you probably asked yourself, “What do I do now?” “What about final exams? Will I be able to return to college in August? And to be quite frank, no one — not your parents, not your professors, not your friends — no one could give you an answer to these troubling questions.

When St. John Paul Il came to the United States for the first time 42 years ago, his first stop was at the Boston Commons. I had the privilege of being there as a newly ordained priest. When the Holy Father arrived there, he said that he had come to Boston to speak to the young people of that great city. Imagine that ... the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, had traveled all the way from Rome not to speak to the cardinals or to the bishops or to the politicians, but to speak to young people. And the message he left them that day was this: “You young people are the future of the world, and the day of tomorrow belongs to you.” My dear friends, this is the message I want to leave with you today, especially during this time of pandemic when you may be wondering what the future holds for you.

You will live your entire life in the 21st century. You will experience and appreciate realities that perhaps your parents and I will never know. So much lies ahead of you. But what is crucial is that you find the right path to follow; to walk down the right road that will safely lead you into your future and one day safely lead you home to God.

The administrators and professors of Thomas Aquinas College are preparing you to enter your future with intelligence, knowledge, and insight. You are receiving an outstanding Catholic education. But if you go through your academic programs and you do not take with you a passionate love for the truth, then you could have studied at any other school with any other professors for a lot less money.

You see, dear friends, the role of Catholic higher education is to give birth to men and women of truth. What is truth, you may ask? It is simply this: The truth is that God has created you and holds you in His provident hands; the truth is that Jesus has called you to be His friend and faithful disciple; and the truth is that the Holy Spirit has given you a dignity and a value that you must never dare to rob from another or allow someone else to rob it from you. These are the truths you must learn at this college and live by for the rest of your life, because only the truth will make you free, and only truth will make you authentically human.

As students of Thomas Aquinas College you have no reason to walk into the future confused and unsettled because you have been prepared well to respond to Jesus’ invitation of “Come, follow me” and “Do not be afraid.” Today you begin a new academic year full of various adventures and opportunities; so be joyful, be at peace, above all else be thankful, simply because God loves you with a tremendous love. God bless you!

AUDIO


 

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