As the year comes to a close I reflect on the privilege I have to work with so many great people who care about youth. Please listen to the inspiring words of our school chaplain as she shares her year end message to students at Bishop Carroll High School.
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
Each of us is a sacred word spoken by God, called by name, chosen before birth, imprinted with a one-of-a-kind genetic code and finger prints, and given a mission belonging only to us.
Each of us has a unique history, collection of relationships, encounters, events, challenges, successes, gifts and talents that bring us to this moment and make us who we are now. Each of us is a person unlike anyone else who has come before or is to come. Metaphorically, we are indeed birds of a different feather.
As I reflect on our year just past, the image of a flock of geese during their migration flight comes to mind. A leader emerges to take the front position of the V, while others fall in behind to take advantage of the wind lift in those positions. When the leader tires, that individual drops back and another takes over. Leaders always emerge and are appreciated. If one member of the flock cannot fly due to illness or advanced age, another stays behind to be with this member until health returns and both are able to continue the journey with another flock. No individual is left alone, none are left behind. In the case of death, the companion grieves and then joins another migrating group. New members are always welcome, just as they are. As the verse from Matthew’s gospel states, the birds of the flock and all the members of the community are valuable and valued.
This sounds a lot like Bishop Carroll High School. We are the Cardinals, and what a flock we have become! We may soar, flap, swoop, swim, waddle, squawk, screech, sing, whistle, honk, but together we manage to create beautiful sounds and sights and movements.
We are artists, actors, athletes, intellectuals, designers, builders, humorists, writers, academics, mentors, friends. We are people of justice. We are concerned about our environment. We are lovers of the arts and supporters of the poor. We are people of prayer and faith. We love to celebrate, play, cheer and dance together. We mourn together, cry for one another, and lift each other up. Among us, leaders emerge and are appreciated. No individual is left alone, none are left behind. New members are always welcome just as they are. All are valuable and valued. We really are a community that lives and grows on the foundation of the gospel, loving others as we have been loved, always in the presence of God.
As you continue in your Bishop Carroll days and beyond, it is my hope that you will take to heart your role in the “flock”, participate in building the reign of God and encourage those around you to do the same. May the word of God inspire you.
“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace.” (Isaiah 55: 10-12a)
Barb Fabijan-Waddell, Chaplain