A message to the graduates 

20
Fr. Danny Ferrandiz

By Father Danny Ferrandiz
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

Sermon delivered at Simon Sanchez High School Baccalaureate Mass

As the school year comes to an end, many schools both private and public are holding Baccalaureate Masses. My wish is to remind our graduates of why we come together to celebrate the Mass. We come to reflect on three things – to give thanks, to set goals, and to fulfill a mission. 

The Eucharist in its Greek origin means thanksgiving. You do this not just as a tradition but because deep inside each of you, you need to be grateful; you need to give thanks. So, every Baccalaureate Mass is a simple sincere act of thanksgiving.

 Above all, we thank God for his blessings. We also thank parents and families who have been waiting patiently for this time. We thank the teachers who led you through lessons and talks, projects and tests; who shared their experience and expertise, and who believed in what you had to offer. Likewise, we are grateful for people like your classmates and friends in the school with whom you journeyed with, those who have become real friends to you. Gratitude is more than just words of thanks. At heart, it is a whole attitude, a way of seeing life and how life moves forward.

 Your graduation reminds you that although school life was difficult at times, at the end you are still in the hands and mercy of God and that everything that you have achieved is a gift from God that you all need to be grateful for. When we are grateful, we affirm once more that everything comes from God. And this is really why we have the Baccalaureate Mass, this Eucharist; this thanksgiving. 

 As you leave the portals of your institution, it seems that she opens her womb so you can see the light. Just as the mother gives birth to her child and the child sees the light for the first time, though still dim and vague; it, however, gives him a hope and a chance to begin to experience his new life. 

Hence, your gift of life must not be kept to yourself. The knowledge you learned should make you productive and able to bear fruits. The moment of fecundity happens when you begin to share it with others for the good of society and the progress of humanity. 

 That is your goal. Be men and women with purpose and goals. In your forward movements you will feel tired at times, but remember this tiredness does not come from studies, assignments and projects or problems but from aimlessness. Aimlessness drains your energy. To have goals in life, you will need the 3 M’s:

Momentum: The drive or energy. It is a powerful force that can put you on track in life that will lead you to fulfill your goals. Momentum is crucial because it causes a domino effect in your life. One thing falls and it affects the other. 

Motivation: Without motivation, you fall into the cycle of unfulfillment. Having motivation can improve your processes or ways of doing things. 

Meaning: When you have the goals, the motivations, and the right processes then it leads you to find life meaningful.

As you embark on a new journey, the people you leave behind will have expectations on you, just like a father or a mother who expects something from their children when they return. Hopefully, when we see you again, you will have become somebody who has reached his goals in life and maximized his full potentials.

Gratefulness and goals cannot be achieved without competence, compassion, commitment, and character. Competence, compassion, and commitment may just be on the surface, but if you have the character, this will help you build your foundation. Character is what holds these three together. These core values will help you discover and fulfill your mission. 

Some of you might feel nostalgic as you leave the portals of your school. That’s normal. Leaving is not always easy. Some may feel lost not knowing what to do after high school or college. But this moment of being lost is also a moment of discovery – to discover the many possibilities in your life if you knew how to be grateful, to look forward, and to dream. 

Look into your heart for your dreams and aspirations. What is it that you really want in life? How do you want to see your life five or ten years from now? What are your dreams? Are they small or big? Do they have value for you? Find it! Chase your dreams and make it a reality. Don’t give up if you have trouble not seeing your potentials yet. Have patience. Plan your life and stay focused. Don’t let excuses stop you from fulfilling your dreams. 

Dream chasing is for those who dare to take a chance to believe that their dream can be realized and not just a thought or a possibility. It’s your responsibility to make your dream happen, not only for your benefit but also for the world that is anxiously waiting for the fruition of your dream to change their lives and the lives of many. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” If in the end, you will find that you have no dreams, it is because you did not believe that it can happen. Catch your dreams and make it happen!

Congratulations to the graduates of 2019!