“Made for More”: Father O’Brien’s Remarks for the Class of 2013 (May 17, 2013)

This Sunday in churches all around the world, the Feast of Pentecost will be celebrated.  At that first Pentecost after Jesus had ascended to heaven, there were people from all over the known world in Jerusalem.  They came to Jerusalem from far off cities and towns.  They came to celebrate together and to give thanks to God for a bountiful harvest.  While in Jerusalem they experienced the first Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and the crowds.  Their lives were changed forever.  Following the reception of the Holy Spirit, they returned to their cities and towns and shared the good news of what had happened to them.

You, the graduates of the Class of 2013 have come here tonight and have come to Bishop Kelley High School, not from cities and towns of Israel, but from cities and towns of Eastern Oklahoma, from a variety of middle schools, private schools, Catholics schools, public schools, some of you moved here from other states during your time in high school. You came to Bishop Kelley to get an education but while you here, something extraordinary happened.  A kind of Pentecost.  During your time at Bishop Kelley, your heart was moved.  Your relationship with God was strengthened.  You overcame adversity and obstacles, you made friendships that will last a lifetime, you matured, you won, you lost, you made mistakes, you sought the forgiveness of others and received that forgiveness from others and from God.  The 9th grade of version of you is a thing of the past and the high school graduate version of you is the present.  You’re a better person than you were yesterday and certainly than you were four years ago.  This is because God loves you and has touched your heart in these last four years.  He has done that through the Holy Spirit working through parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, teachers, staff, and priests.  It has been remarkable to see you grow.

As you leave tonight graduates, we have a special gift for you.  It’s a book called “Made for More” by Curtis Martin.  It’s my hope that this will make for some good summer reading as you prepare for your next stage of life.  What the book details is exactly what the title suggests.  You were not just made by God to be a lawyer or a teacher or an engineer.  You were made by God out of love and you were made for greatness and you are destined for heaven. You were made for more than what this world can give. You were made to follow in the footsteps of Christ.  You were also made to carry this good news to others. 

At that first Pentecost they came from all over the known world, they received the Holy Spirit and then they went back to where they came from to share the good news.  You, my dear graduates, my brothers and sisters, you have received the good news. Now share it!  Share it with your classmates and roommates.  Share it with your professors and drill sergeants and co-workers. Share the incredible gift of the Catholic, Lasallian education you have received.  I pray that the same Holy Spirit that came down upon the crowds at that 1st Pentecost will guide you in all that you do.  Thank you for making Bishop Kelley High School a better place.  Now go do the same for our world. 

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About Rev. Brian O'Brien

Priest of the Diocese of Tulsa and President of Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, OK.
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