Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
II Peter 3:12-15, 17-18
I have been asked by the eighth graders to give the commencement speech tonight at graduation. I said yes, but I am terrified! I have always wondered what I would say if I were ever asked because I think it is the hardest speech to give. I am terrified. A good commencement speech should include things like never give up, follow your dreams, go out and change the world. How many times and in how many ways can this be said? Our readings speak like a very good commencement speech maybe we should tune ourselves in.
In our first reading, Peter gives a great commencement speech as he says, “Wait on the Lord, be found without a blemish of sin and be on guard not to be led astray, but always grow in grace.”
In our Gospel, Jesus gives the shortest but best commencement speech of all time. The chief priests and scribes asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? If Jesus says, yes, then he has betrayed the Jewish people, if Jesus says, no, then he has offended the Roman government. Jesus asks, “Whose image is on the coin?” “Caesar” they respond. He tells them to “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God, what belongs to God.” Give to God what is God’s because God’s DNA is all through us.
Now that is a pretty good commencement speech, now get out there and change the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Never give up because Jesus Christ is on our side. Have dreams but allow God into those dreams so he will full fill them.