Dr. Jonathan Reyes, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, imparted three words—“Gift, Magnanimity, and Encounter”—to graduating members of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts class of 2014, according to the College’s website.
Speaking at the College in Merrimack, N.H., Reyes told the students: “The Lord did not make you for mediocrity. In fact, He made you to share in His very divinity.”
The College reports on Reyes’ commencement address:
The First word: Gift. “At each moment,” Reyes spoke, “God is holding each one of us in our very being, every breath, every heartbeat, our very existence is all gift. But we might also apply this in a more particular way to each of you graduates….The education you have received is superb. You are also gifted with parents and loved ones that made the past four years possible. Only 30% of Americans will graduate from college…Even fewer will have been formed in a culture that is ordered to an encounter with Jesus Christ and a life of love of God and neighbor. I hope you allow this truth to sink into your hearts and fill you with gratitude today and for the rest of your lives.”
The second word: Magnanimity. “That virtue…of being willing to pursue great things. The vocation to which the Lord has called you, which He alone knows and you will be continuing to discover as you go forth from here, is a call to greatness. The Lord did not make you for mediocrity. In fact, He made you to share in His very divinity. The road through life is a road to that highest of destinies and it involves greatness here and now.”
The third word: Encounter. “Encounter, or better in Spanish encuentro, is a favorite word of Pope Francis. The reason for this, I contend, lies in his diagnosis of many of the problems of the modern world. For Francis, at the heart of the modern malaise is isolation…Isolation is the greatest poverty….for all the praise of our socially connected age, many people who put their lives on a screen are often inventing those lives, making up who they are, and so rather than being more known, they are in fact only adding layers to a disguise. To be unknown, to be unloved, to be unwanted. This is the greatest poverty…. What is to be done? For Francis the answer is encuentro. The culture of Thomas More College, with its guilds, its service, its commitment to friendship, and its love of beauty, is a school of encuentro, of true love of neighbor.”
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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