June 6, 2014

Please remember that no report cards will be given to any family that still has not paid all of its tuition, fees, etc. for this year.

● A blessed and restful summer to all!

● The first day of school for the 2014-2015 academic year is Sunday, August 24.  We begin in the church at 7:00 PM.

Alumni Return For Graduation
Homily of the Week by a Norbertine Priest

The end of the school year has come.  Seminarians and Prep. School students alike are taking their final exams, and in a few short days many of you will depart.  And so it is fitting that both the lessons from today’s Holy Mass recount the departure of a teacher and spiritual father from his disciples.  Paul is departing from Ephesus for the last time, Jesus from this world, and both make an impassioned plea to their disciples.  And so, if you will pardon my presumption for speaking on behalf of all the teachers here present, I too make my own plea to you departing students with the very words of St. Paul and our Blessed Lord.

Keep watch over yourselves…know that after your departure wolves will come among you: men who will pervert the truth.  Be vigilant.  Carefully guard the truth we have handed on to you here.  We did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, but have openly taught you the whole plan of God. For it is not just any truth, it is saving truth: it is that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated in the truth, just as Jesus prayed.  Satan wants to come and steal the seed of God’s saving word from your hearts before it can take root and flourish.  So guard the truth you have received here as you go to your own homes this summer.  Here we have taught you the truth that to be saved you must pray always, you must meditate on the word of God, study the teachings of Christ’s Holy Church, frequent the sacraments which are the very touch of Jesus Himself in your souls, and finally, serve your neighbor out of love for Jesus who, by touching your souls, enables you to love.  Do not fill your minds with the false wisdom of the world, close your eyes and your ears to the internet and the television, and all the other mouths by which the ancient serpent speaks to the modern world.

Know that not only have we faithfully handed on saving truth, we have handed this truth on to you in love, as loving fathers of your souls.  Our only benefit in doing so has been your sanctification: though this is a great benefit indeed.  Indeed, we here in the sanctuary can make St. Paul’s boast our own: We have never wanted anyone's silver or gold.  We have taught you by word and example without receiving one cent from any of you…and if your parents have paid tuition, it was to pay the bills to maintain the school, but we Norbertines have received nothing.  You know well that these very hands have served our needs.  In every way we have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' 

Final Exams
In the gospel Jesus prayed to the Father for his disciples: “Father, I do not ask that you take them out of the world.”  St. Thomas comments on these words by simply saying: “for the whole world was about to be converted by them.”  Dear students, do not only guard the truth you have received here, but communicate it to others.  Saving truth can only be kept if it is given away.  God has a reason and a plan for every moment of your life, not only while you are here, but also when you are away.  He wants you to be His instrument of salvation to all whom you meet this summer.  This is what Jesus says about all his disciples: As you sent me into the world Father, so I sent them into the world.  May each of you reap an abundant harvest of souls and return here to your spiritual home rejoicing.

Prayer Requests

● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.


May 30, 2014

Congratulations Class of 2014!

● Thank you to all the parents who helped with the graduation reception!

● The last day of the school year is Friday, June 6.  Students are dismissed at 10:00 AM (after their last exam).

Please remember that no report cards will be given to any family that still has not paid all of its tuition, fees, etc. for this year.

● The first day of school for the 2014-2015 academic year is Sunday, August 24.  We begin in the church at 7:00 PM.

Homily of the Week by a Norbertine Priest
Longing for the Lord:
The Ascension Proves our Love for Jesus

Our Lord must have surprised the Apostles at the Last Supper when He told them, “I tell you the truth: It is better for you that I go away.” He at least saddened them, as Jesus Himself acknowledges (Jn 16:6-7). Wouldn’t it be better for us all if Christ remained with us in visible, human form? It may seem so, and like the Apostles we might find ourselves initially dismayed--caught between our natural love for Jesus and our supernatural desire that the Father glorify Him at once (see Jn 13:32).

We do miss Jesus and should miss Him. It is not a sign of spiritual progress to be indifferent to the Lord’s humanity. St Josemaria unabashedly lists what any normal, devoted disciple would long for in Jesus’ absence: “…his human speech, his way of acting, of looking, of smiling, of doing good. We would like to go back and regard him closely again, as he sits down at the edge of the well, tired from his journey; as he weeps for Lazarus; as he prays for a long time; as he feels pity for the crowd” (Christ is Passing By, no. 117).

Still, the Lord tells us no. He even tells us that we should rejoice that He returns to the Father (Jn 14:28). To reach that level of joy in His absence, Jesus must want us to reach a level of love that gets beyond the barriers between the visible and invisible, the tangible and intangible. In other words, Jesus wants something to happen within us that His presence in human form might prevent: “For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you” (16:7). He wants us to reach spiritual maturity, a kind of growth that only His Spirit can bring about in us. The Lord could very well have told the Apostles: Unless I go, you will never grow.
In St Paul’s words, we are “attaining to the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children” (see Eph 4:13-14). Ultimately, “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (4:15).

Even before the ascension, the Lord called for this maturity from His closest followers. On Easter morning, Jesus gently rebuked Mary Magdalene: “Do not cling to me thus, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (Jn 20:17). After His ascension and the sending of the Spirit we learn that our love for Christ will be proved by a more hidden embrace within, where the heart’s treasure shows itself more truly (see Lk 12:34). St Augustine suggests that the risen Lord did not want her to regard Him in the same way she always had, but to “believe after a spiritual manner … with a spiritual faith,” echoing St Paul: “even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer” (2 Cor 5:16).
Alumnus Congratulates Graduate

Blessed John Henry Newman stresses that it is the natural condition of the Christian to be in a state of waiting, looking out and longing for Christ. He even identifies the Apostles gazing up on Mount Olivet as models of this longing for the Lord, as they needed angels to goad them on to begin their ministry! In words mirroring those of St Josemaria, Newman says: “They, then, watch and wait for their Lord, who are tender and sensitive in their devotion towards Him; who feed on the thought of Him, hang on His words; live in His smile, and thrive and grow under His hand…. They see Him in all things, expect Him in all events and amid all the cares, the interests, and the pursuits of this life…”  (Waiting for Christ, no. 35).

We have to be firm believers that this is the only way to our spiritual growth in Christ’s visible absence. Otherwise all of the imagery He uses at the Last Supper about vine, branches, and the purification of the branches remains just poetic imagery. St Josemaria underscores this point, connecting maturity with love with longing: “When the branches are united to the vine they grow to maturity and bear fruit. What then should you and I do? We should get right close to Jesus…. He is our vine. We should speak affectionate words to him throughout the day. That is what people in love do” (The Forge, no. 437). 
Most especially when the Lord prunes the branches of His vine do we need to believe that He is actively involved at each step of our lives, sustaining and encouraging us in our Christian struggle by the consolation of His Spirit. The Ascension does not promise the disciple freedom from hardship, but rather the powerful aid of Him who knows our weakness in the face of adversity.

Commencement Speaker Dr. William Sears
St Josemaria sees our own weaknesses and insecurities mirrored in those of the Apostles: “But perhaps, like the Apostles in those days, we are still weak, and on the day of the ascension we ask Christ: ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?’ Is it now that we can expect all our perplexity and all our weakness to vanish forever? Our Lord answers by going up to heaven” (Christ is Passing By, 117).

Along with the Apostles, the Lord pushes us back into the world with the simple command “Go” joined to the consoling promise “I will be with you.” Obeying His command while depending on His assurance is the simple formula for attaining the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” because we learn to live on the love of Him who accompanies us from heaven.

The whole program of our earthly lives is the perfection of love—the love that we give and the love that we receive. We must love one another as Christ loves us now from heaven—as He loved us from the cross, as He loved us in Mary’s womb, as He loved us in the tomb, as He loved us the morning of His resurrection. How much we need enlightenment of heart to perceive how dearly we are loved, so that we can love on the strength of that security. 
To give love as perfectly as we can, and to receive love as perfectly as we can, we must see the Lord Christ within us, around us, and glorified above us. This means fixing our gaze upon the total Christ: Christ ascended in glory, Christ conceived in humility, Christ wearied by His journeys and preaching, Christ maltreated and crucified, Christ risen from the dead, Christ present to us and within us by His Spirit.

Student Body President's Speech
It might seem that in His ascension Jesus went from being very close to us to being far away from us. But He indicates the opposite, especially in His Last Supper discourse: He goes away to be closer to us; He sends His Spirit to dwell within us—as a constant friend and guide. But we must have the enlightenment of faith to perceive that presence and the love to act by that Spirit, to follow the Spirit’s lead. Christ has hidden His life within us, so that we will draw strength from Him in His ascended glory, to love on earth as He loves us from heaven.

Having the eyes of our hearts enlightened (see Eph 1:18), may we know the hope to which Jesus has called us, what are the riches of his glorious presence within His saints, that we may be assured: Christ is with us always and has set us on the path to life: “You show me the path of life; fullness of joy in thy presence, at thy right hand happiness for evermore” (Ps 16:11).

Prayer Requests
● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.

● The repose of the soul of Jon Gobler (Class of 1992) who recently passed away.