The undergraduate commencement at Gonzaga always falls on Mother’s Day; this year, it also shared Ascension Sunday, the fortieth day after Easter, celebrated as the day Christ ascended into heaven.
“Look to the sky,” Father Brad Reynolds, S.J., admonished the graduates and families gathered in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
He encouraged them to consider all the things they leave behind: “Mistakes, betrayals, wounds. But also miracles, conversion, life-changing conversations, gifts of the spirit.”
“Your role is the same as the apostles – to set out to be Christ for the world. No matter what you do, be witnesses to what you have seen and experienced.”
“You’ve seen God’s love in many places,” Fr. Brad declared, calling out familiar spots on the university campus, like Catherine-Monica Hall, the Hemm Den, the quad, “McCarthey Cathedral.”
“You’ve seen God’s love in the ones who dared to take back the night, the ones who swiped you in at the COG, the ones who were beside you when you were broken. You have felt God’s love. Now your role is to go out and, just as the disciples after the ascension, take God’s spirit wherever you go. Your graduation is your opportunity to show God’s love to everyone.”
“No go out. Go out,” Fr. Brad admonished. “Go out and set the world on fire.”