Sending Forth

Be serious. Graduations rank right up there near root canals for me....and probably for most of you.

We attended our son's graduation in Chicago this weekend from Columbia College--an 'arts' school in the heart of that city, in case you are not familiar. What a surprise! We arrived for the 10 o'clock ceremony at 9:00. That was the best hour we spent in a long, long time! There was a stage for the jazz band on the floor; stages 'suspended' on either side of the main stage. One sterling performance after another....timing, flawless. Talent, incredible! The lighting, sound, and talent all performed and choreographed by students and faculty of the school.

An energy flowed through that place. We had our 11 month old grand-daughter who was absolutely mesmerized. Unfortunately for them--the graduates don't get to enjoy this--they were back in the staging area in the parking garage preparing for their entrance. And enter they did! How many graduates that you know have entered to the sound of 'Aerosmith'? It was awesome. Perhaps some of our more 'serious' institutions of higher education could learn a thing or two here. Perhaps we could all learn a bit here.

Life has become entirely too serious. These students were encouraged to speak, not just in some 'Pollyanna' way, but to make a difference---a sleeves-rolled-up kind of difference. Do we ever need that in our nation and our world today. The media...and even the government are doing everything they can to pit one against the other--the have's vs. the have not's--one race against another--one political party against another; then openly bemoan the fact that there is no peace. Save it. The people of this country are waking up in the same way that I experienced on Sunday morning at that graduation. Is that Aerosmith I hear? It was...and it was refreshing.

The evening before, we had all attended Mass together at St. Peter's in the Loop. The celebrant gave a stirring homily about the 'sending forth' that is the message of the Ascension of our Lord. Coincidence? Only for fools.

In my work and my own corner of the world, I urge people to make a difference right where they are! We all have a sphere of influence---one that God has put us in the middle of for a purpose. Do not waste this opportunity. Touch those around you---and put a little jazz in it! Don't be dour; don't be fearful. Breathe deeply of the beauty that God has placed all around you and get busy--all with the music of His love keeping your feet moving to His beat.

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