|Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on September 7, 2017 at 1:45 AM|
On September 5th, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of St. Procopius Academy becoming Benet Academy after accepting the faculty and students of Sacred Heart Academy. The anniversary marked the transition when the school became co-educational, ceased accepting boarders, and took on the new name of Benet Academy. An all-school Mass was celebrated to commemorate the anniversary. Abbot Austin's homily, "Seeing good things as a gift", is provided below and can also be found on St. Procopius Abbey's Facebook page.
SEEING GOOD THINGS AS A GIFT
ABBOT AUSTIN G. MURPHY, OSB·TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
Homily for 50th anniversary of St. Procopius Academy becoming Benet Academy after accepting the faculty and students of Sacred Heart Academy upon its closing; given on Sept. 5, 2017 at Benet Academy.
As I'm sure many here know, the name "Benet" is a shortened form of "Benedict." Thus, our school is named after St. Benedict, our patron. Also, the name, "Benedict," in Latin means "blessed." And Benet has, indeed, been blessed over these decades.
So, we have a lot of good things going here. We have our imperfections and faults, to be sure. But there is a lot of good here. And there has been for some time. We're celebrating that on this anniversary.
We have enjoyed good monks and sisters; good teachers, staff, and administrators; good students and families; a good campus and good resources.
As we take stock of the good things that we have, I think it important to think of them as gifts. That's my point in this homily. I want us to think of the good things we have as gifts. If we do, I think that has important consequences.
Notice that it is possible not to do this. We can think of the good things we have simply as goods. In the field of economics, we talk simply of goods, not of gifts. Or suppose I find a twenty dollar bill on the street. That's good. But I don't see that as a gift.
To be a gift, two qualities have to be present. First, someone gives you the good thing. And second, it was given for your benefit. A gift is given by someone for your benefit.
That's not the case with the twenty dollar bill I find on the street. I just found it. No one gave it to me. It is not a gift.
So, is Benet like that? Is it like finding a $20 bill? Or is Benet a gift given to us for our benefit? It is a gift.
Who, then, is the giver? God. Yes, others were involved in the giving of this gift. I especially think here of the dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators over the years. But in the last analysis, God is the giver. All good things ultimately come from Him. The other people have cooperated with God.
And God gave us this gift for our benefit. That means God has us in mind in giving us this gift. God is thinking of us. And when He thinks of us, He thinks of how we are to benefit from the good things of Benet. And that is something for us to think about, too. How am I supposed to benefit from the good things that I have received here? How does God want me to benefit from these good things?
If you take all this to heart, it changes things. The good things at Benet are seen as a gift from God. They therefore put us in a relationship with God. In that relationship, we are at the receiving end of God's love. The natural response from us is to thank God.
That's what today's readings are about -- realizing God's gifts and thanking Him. We have been blessed -- not because we are so worthy, but because God is so loving. In turn, we give thanks to God in this Mass. As we know, the word Eucharist means "thanksgiving." And when we go forth from this Mass, we are to give thanks in our actions. That's what St. Paul tells us to do: to "do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."