Last Tuesday our school inducted the newest members of the National Honor Society. I was honored to give the opening prayer and as always began with the traditional Lasallian invocation of "Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God...and a federal judge so everyone be on their best behavior!" The federal judge was Judge Joseph Laplante, the chief judge at the federal courthouse in Concord. Judge Laplante was the keynote speaker.
In my prayer, I commented on how great it is that you don't get int NHS just because you have a high GPA and will get into a good college. Rather, the other criteria is will you also get into heaven. Students need a 3.6 GPA but also need to demonstrate a commitment to service and community and some applicants have been rejected despite having the grades. Thus, our opening prayer was the gospel passage from John's gospel where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. I placed special emphasis on the lines:
I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
In his remarks, Judge Laplante spoke of how the students have wonderful resume virtues but to remember that what is more important is "eulogy virtues", that is, what people will say about you when you're gone.
I was also asked to do a final blessing at the end of the ceremony. Rather than we offer a prayer, I first asked everyone to pause silently and to pray for the students in NHS and I then asked the parents to stand, extend their hands and recite the following blessing from the book of Numbers:
May the LORD bless you and keep you!
May the LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
May the LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
Congratulations to all the newest members of NHS!