January 29, 2016

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Archbishop shares special bond and story with seniors

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin accepts offertory gifts during a Mass for high school seniors from across the archdiocese on Dec. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin accepts offertory gifts during a Mass for high school seniors from across the archdiocese on Dec. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

By John Shaughnessy

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin feels a special connection with this year’s Catholic high school seniors in the archdiocese.

“You, the Class of 2016, and I grew up together,” Archbishop Tobin told the seniors at the beginning of a special Mass for them on Dec. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. “Three years ago, you were freshmen. Three years ago, I began my service to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. You and I grew up together. I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned lots of stuff.”

In his homily that day on the Gospel story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, the archbishop touched upon a story that he thought the seniors had likely heard earlier in their lives—the story of a stone soup.

“The villagers in this story were starving,” Archbishop Tobin said. “A newcomer suggested that they boil water in a large pot, and put a stone in it. And he said, ‘Be assured that a very good soup could be made.’ ”

The villagers did what the stranger recommended, and when they tasted it, someone said it would be better if a potato could be added. So someone brought a potato, and others later added onions and a cabbage.

“Finally, someone produced meat,” the archbishop said. “And when everyone gave what little they had, they had a large and nourishing meal.”

After a pause, Archbishop Tobin told the seniors, “Although there is no miracle in this story of ‘stone soup,’ it may be very much what Jesus, through today’s Gospel, is teaching the Class of 2016. Do you suppose Jesus was teaching the crowd—and especially the Class of 2016—that we already have been provided for, if only we care and love each other enough to share?

“If we learn this, we’ll have more than enough to satisfy us. Sometimes, we have to cooperate with God—and be patient. The miracle will occur. The Lord will come. Blessed are those who are prepared to meet him. Blessed are those whose final year is a gift to their schools.” †
 


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