As we celebrate the Easter culminating in Pentecost Sunday on May 28th, let us reflect on the incredible sacrifice our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made for us in forgiveness, love, and mercy as well as the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord’s friendship in asking us, “Will you follow me?” allows us to answer “Yes” continually. We are moved to inspire others by sharing and living His Word each day with light and love. He works through us when we accept His love and allow His will to be done.
As you know, I’m on the move a lot. In fact, “on the move” is my tag line on social media. This month, I had to buy a car. After 17 years in the same car, I felt some sadness and frustration as I had planned to celebrate 300,000 miles with it, but His plan was to only get it to 275,000 miles—that’s still a minor vehicular miracle.
On the way to the car dealer, I felt a wave of unworthiness about this purchase along with growing in my heart. I took a deep breath and held onto my husband’s hand. We prayed for the presence of mind to “get out of His way” and “trust Him and His plan”.
As we pulled up to the dealership a song of worship came on the radio reminding me to stay in the moment. I exhaled and knew He was present. We moved through the car buying process and were finishing up with the financial manager. As we began the conversation there was the usual chit-chat about where we lived. As it turns out, we all live in King of Prussia and we were both from Easton. Connections began forming and I smiled to myself knowing our Lord was working on something.
The gentleman began to share with us that he went to one of the Catholic high schools I used to oversee in Northeast PA. I knew the principal, a dear friend or ours, and the young man was speechless. His face flushed and he shared how difficult of a student he had been. He very openly began sharing that he got into fighting, smoking marijuana, drinking, and was in and out of court with divorcing parents. He was called down to the principal’s office too many times for him to remember. Through all of those struggles, he remembered that Principal’s kindness. When he became a Ward of the State, that Principal figured out how to get him to graduate his senior year. He worked remotely and was allowed to walk with his graduating class.
The financial manager was full of tears. He said he always wanted to thank that principal for not giving up on him. So, I called the principal right there ‘in the moment’ and he answered. He remembered the young man and they were able to share reflections about the tough times and the principal shared his love and encouragement with him, telling him he knew he was a good man. The man was finally able to say “Thank you”. He is happily married, with a 9-month-old baby girl, a bachelor’s degree, and actively participating in his Catholic faith and the life of his parish.
I watched and literally saw healing come over this man from his soul out into his eyes that welled with tears. I thought to myself, “Who am I to be blessed to have been able to make the connection and to help in this unique strange time and place?” I know it wasn’t me. Our Lord used me to guide this man on a path to healing, provide affirmation to the retired principal, and He shared with me why I deserved to be in that space at that time.
May we all continue to celebrate Easter, sharing His Word, and allowing the Lord to work through us as we let His light and love shine through every aspect of our life.
I can’t wait to continue my school visits and learn more about the beauty in each of our schools as together we create encounters for our young men and women to experience and live our faith.
Happy Autism Awareness Month, remember the importance of Child Abuse Prevention Month, and most notably Happy Easter to you, my new family.
Dr. Brooke C. Tesche is the Superintendent of Secondary Schools and Schools of Special Education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Find her on Twitter at @bctesche. Learn more about Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at aopcatholicschools.org.
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