Convocation Mass of the Holy Spirit

by Thomas More College on September 10, 2010

Homily
Convocation Mass of the Holy Spirit
September 10, 2010
Acts 2: 1 – 11
John 15: 26 – 27; 16: 12 – 15

A centuries-old custom invites professors and students to invoke the Holy Spirit at the commencement of each new school year.  We do so because it is He who grants to each one His Gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.  These gifts will help each to carry out his respective duties and responsibilities in accordance with the vocation each one has: student, teacher, administrator.

Without the guidance of the third Person of the Trinity, we would fail to understand, appreciate and use properly the opportunity and time devoted to study, teaching and learning.  In the absence of the Holy Spirit, we could not arrive at the truth about God, about the world in which we live and the truth about ourselves.

This belief, namely, that we can actually know the truth, that it is objective and outside of ourselves, is openly questioned today.  Further, such a belief is ridiculed and dismissed by those very persons who should be proclaiming it.  They are among many held captive by a relativism which has become a virtual dictatorship.

The Church, however, guided by the Holy Spirit, continues to proclaim without ambiguity that Christ is the way, the Truth and the Life (John 14: 6).

Many well-known individuals and others less well-known have made this journey to embrace the Truth and, for most of them, it was long and arduous.

We remember Saint Paul and Saint Augustine from centuries ago.  Closer to our time, there is the heroic figure of Edith Stein, known in the Church as Saint Benedicta of the Cross, martyred at Auschwitz on 9 August, 1942, a convert from Judaism.  And finally, the remarkable convert and apologist, John Henry Cardinal Newman, whose beatification will take, place this 19 September in his native England.  The Holy Father himself will celebrate the Pontifical Mass of Beatification in Cofton Park, Birmingham.

May this New Year be for all of us a continuation or the beginning of our journey to the truth.  May this truth, which is incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ, light our way and remain at the center of life on the campus of Thomas More College.

We ask this through the intercession of the Holy Spirit and of Our Lady, who is the Seat of Wisdom.

Amen.

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