Matthew 5: 13 – 16
“You are the salt of the earth: but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one, after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and gives it to light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and glory to the father in heaven.”
In selecting this gospel reading for today’s graduation I want to remind you that each of you is unique, that you each have a set of gifts and talents, and these should be on show for all to see. Throughout term 4 many of you have had to put some of your gifts and talents on hold, as we navigated the difficulties imposed on us as a community with the recent COVID 19 outbreak in Albury Wodonga. For the first time in my career as an educator, I asked many of you to become “hermits.”
I know that most of you took this very seriously and limited your movements. I am aware of several students who told their families that they were being a “hermit,’ until the outbreak settled down. Importantly, your actions not only protected you but the others in this room. Well, done.
Reflecting on the gospel from Matthew, and considering the story of the lamp placed under a bushel basket, parallels can be drawn between the lamp and my request for you to become hermits. As the gospel highlights, lamps should be on a lampstand so that their light shines forth, lighting the whole house. For me, each of you is a lamp, the light. I want you to leave Catholic College Wodonga shining your light for all to see.
How will we see your light?
Your light is your actions and words: In the way in which you continue to build and grow relationships with the other students in this room, your families, and friends; and in the relationships you develop as you leave our community and start your journey post Year 12.
As you move beyond Catholic College your light will shine brightest when you are the best version of yourself. I have often spoken to students of my passion for all our students to be the best version of themselves and to not be influenced by what is presented to them via the three storytellers. Social media, print media, and advertising consistently present images and information on how you can be better.
But always remember what your teachers, me, and those closest to you want to see – we want to see the best version of you, for you to be that shining light.
Our school is founded on the works of Catherine McAuley, the Mercy Sisters have played a pivotal role in the establishment of our wonderful school. Catherine McAuley is remembered for saying,
“We should all be shining lamps, giving light to all those around us.”
The time for you to shine is now, go forth with my blessing and I look forward to hearing about your journeys as you shine brightly in our world.