By Mauricio Pérez
“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
I would add to these beautiful words in Ecclesiastes: “… a time for studying, and a time for working; a time for dreaming, and a time for making your dreams come true; a time for being looked after by your parents, and a time for looking after them.”
I vividly recall my graduation day. I never imagined it would be that thrilling. At the crowded basketball gym, each of the hundreds of graduates was called to receive from the rector the precious diploma with our name written in gold. When I heard my name, everything stopped and appeared to be happening in slow motion. I walked to the rector. He handed me my diploma and shook my hand vigorously as he said: “Your parents shall feel very proud of your accomplishment and you shall always be grateful to them for all they’ve given you.” I took my diploma and, as if levitating through the clouds, I returned to my seat among my classmates.
When the ceremony was over I ran outside the gym looking for my parents. I swiftly walked through several graduates who embraced their parents weeping with emotion. The lumps formed in the throats by the excitement during the ceremony finally exploded, shouting with tears the words those sobbing throats could not pronounce: Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!
Thanks to God, who gave me the grace of going to school and making it to the end. Thanks to all my teachers who guided me step by step to the top of the hill. Thanks to my parents for their monumental support to help me make my dream come true.
My excitement grew as I realized the dimension of what was taking place: Up to this time, my entire life had been devoted to studying. It was now the time to work and begin writing the second episode of the story of my life. A new season under heaven.
As a child, I dreamed of becoming an engineer. To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. The time to materialize my dream was just beginning. I knew graduating was not enough. It was the time to draw upon the gifts God had given me and work hard and with dignity, always displaying as my professional banner the Gospel values.
Up to this time, I had been nourished, educated and protected by my parents. I missed nothing. The time had come for me to pay them back, both out of gratitude and also because the professional who never deserts his parents fulfills the divine commandment “Honor your father and your mother.”
Dear graduates: Your time is here! Make your dreams come true, never forget your parents and always make of your work a song of praise to the Lord, who has blessed you with many years of studies that have taken you to the first big summit you will conquer in your life.
Be passionate about our faith!
Mauricio I. Perez, a member of St. Monica Parish on Mercer Island, is a Catholic journalist. His website is www.seminans.org.
This is the English translation of the “Semillas de la Palabra” column that appeared in the June 2014 issue of NORTHWEST CATHOLIC.