A MESSAGE FROM FATHER ARTHUR TO OLW SCHOOL STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
My brothers and sisters, students and teachers of Our Lady of the Wayside School, today is an important day – the day we wait for all year long: the last week in the school! Today we have gathered with you to hear what Jesus wants to keep in mind during the entire summer vacation.
What makes our love for God and his commands grow in us? Faith in God and hope in his promises strengthens us in the love of God. They are essential for a good relationship with God, for being united with him. The more we know of God, the more we love him. And the more we love him the greater we believe and hope in his promises. The Lord, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, gives us a new freedom to love as he loves. Do you allow anything to keep you from the love of God and the joy of serving others with a generous heart? Paul the Apostle says: hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Romans 5:5).
Now students, you know what your homework assignment is for summer vacation – homework that Jesus himself has given you. First, you must love God with all of your heart, mind and soul. What does this mean? This means praying, or keeping in contact with God in your daily life. It also means to remember to pray every day with your parents or Grandparents. While we might have vacation from school, we never have a vacation from God, from His Love. Read the Bible with your parents, especially since we have no Vacation Bible School. Read, read, read, only good books! Read the life of the saints and, of course, read the summer reading recommended by teachers and school.
Second, your next responsibility is to love your neighbor as yourself. This, students, means that you must obey your parents, be kind to your brothers and sisters. If you find someone in need – perhaps a parent or neighbor – do what you can to help others and to pray for them. Vacation is not only a time to have fun and relax, but also a time to do good for others – to love others. Make this entire summer vacation your own summer Bible School.
Dear students, teachers and friends, I wish you all a safe and restful summer vacation. May you spend the next few months aware of Jesus’ love for you.
May you look for Jesus in prayer, find Him in Sunday Mass, and serve Him in your neighbors, family and friends. And may your love for Him be worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.
God bless you,