Dan's Speech - 2013
Good morning faculty, staff, fellow alumni, classmates, and especially current Blue Jays,
My name is Dan Senentz, Class of 1983, and the chairman of this year’s Class of ’83 Thanksgiving Drive. Thank you for your time this morning.
AMDG…for the greater glory of God!
Men of Faith
Men for Others
We hear those words all the time…the school motto and guiding principles. But do we always appreciate what they mean? Do we understand what it is that those words call us to do? Do we truly know what it means to be a Jesuit Blue Jay? Don’t worry. I am not here to give a deep, C.S. Lewis styled lecture right out of one of Mr. Reuther’s theology classes. I was told you like to hear good stories and that you can appreciate some good-natured humor. I’ll do my best, with my adaptation, a modern spin on one of my favorite Bible stories. See if you can figure out which one it is….
A scholar of the law stood up at a recent interfaith convention to test Pope Francis and said, “Holy Father, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Pope Francis said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The Holy Father replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
But the lawyer wished to justify himself. So he said to the Pope, “And who is my neighbor?” The Pope replied. “A man, a Brother Martin Crusader, fell victim to robbers as he traveled from Slidell to the New Orleans International Airport. They hijacked his car, stripped and beat him, and went off, leaving him half-dead. A Holy Cross Tiger happened to be traveling on the road, but when he saw him he changed lanes and passed by on the opposite side of the road. Likewise a Rummel Raider came to that place on the road, and he too, passed by on the opposite side. But a Jesuit Blue Jay was traveling and came upon the Crusader and was moved with compassion at the horrible sight. He approached the victim, cleaned and bandaged his wounds. He lifted him into his car, drove to a nearby clinic and cared for him through the night. The next day, when the clinic manager arrived, the Blue Jay took out his credit card, gave it to the director with the instruction, “Take care of him. Charge whatever you need. If it is not enough, I will repay the rest when I return in a few days.” The Pope asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” The lawyer answered, “the one who treated him with mercy.” The Holy Father replied, “Go and do likewise!”
Okay, so you recognize The Parable of the Good Blue Jay? In all seriousness, there are many layers of meaning for us in this parable that have significance for the upcoming Thanksgiving Drive. You see, many of us are exposed to the Word of God. But Christ calls us to do morethan just believe. We are called to ACT on our belief, to LIVE our faith. That is what sets us apart as Jesuit Blue Jays. The words AMDG, Men of Faith, and Men for Others are not just nifty catch phrases. Those are our marching orders as Catholic Christians and Jesuit Blue Jays. We must ACT. We must DO. We must LIVE our faith. The Thanksgiving Drive is an opportunity for such growth, an opportunity to demonstrate our understanding of our faith. It is a time when we can put our faith into meaningful action, to step up and do something to help our neighbor – no matter who they are or where they come from or whether they even share our faith. What better time than now, as we enter the holiday season? I challenge each and every one of you take another step in your growth as Blue Jays…get involved with this drive. It may be your first. It may your fifth. In any case, put your heart, mind and soul into it. Do somethingto be involved and experience your faith in action. There are countless ways…teachers, challenge your students to become true Jesuit Blue Jays! As St. Ignatius tells us in his prayer…
teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward
save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.
AMDG. Men of Faith. Men for Others. Jesuit Blue Jays!
Thank you! God Bless!