Let Your Light Shine, Class of 2017

(Read in :03)“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find your shoulder to land on, to bring you luck, happiness, and riches for today, tomorrow and beyond.”~Irish Blessing

I was awake at first light, like always, but I wasn’t ready. I spent my first minutes with devotions and quiet time, reflecting like usual. But, I wasn’t prepared. From there, I rushed into the day like I always do and I was on time. Normal day, right? I didn’t expect anything remarkable would happen, but I was wrong.

I guess it was naive on my part. Our oldest grandson is graduating from high school this weekend. It’s a major milestone for him and a big one for his parents, too. All too soon it seems, their first born is leaving the nest. A new passage is beginning. However, I seriously underestimated the impact the morning would have on me.

Luceat Lux Vestra

That’s Latin. It means “let your light shine.” It’s a popular motto for graduating classes. Our grandson’s class motto for KCHS 2017? “Don’t take life too seriously.” Seriously? That could be what they think they feel. I believe it may only be because they’re a little scared to take life too seriously. Not cool, you know.

Each year the graduating class from his parochial school has a special Mass honoring the seniors. Once I settled in the pew by his parents, his young cousin leapfrogged over her classmates to snag a  seat by me. Our grandkids simply call me “GB.” It was icing on a sweet cake.

All at once, the lights dimmed in the sanctuary and the graduates filed in slowly, walking to their seats of honor at the front of the church. Each held a glowing orb, all unique in shape and size, each a different color. They have been preparing for graduation for weeks. Earlier, each student crafted a hollow globe from paper mache to carry their light. What a lovely symbol it was!

Today was their light-filled moment

The homily was personal and meaningful. The music was amazing and almost other-worldly. The harmony created physical sensations in the bodies of the listeners. The acoustics in the massive sanctuary are superb for a choir and the grace notes hung in the air like a golden, shimmering mist. I was enchanted. Eyes in every pew glistened and the love was so palpable you could hold it in your hand.

I pondered all this in my heart for the remainder of the day. There are countless references to light in scripture. We’re made to let our light shine. There are many, many translations of the Bible. One is called The Message and it’s very contemporary. It expresses familiar verses in a completely unique voice. It may sound a little odd to someone raised with the King James version, but in this case, I think it’s perfect for the Class of 2017.

Matthew 5:14-16 The Message (MSG)

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”  ~Edith Wharton

Thanks for letting me share a personal story. You know I love to hear yours! See you Monday!


  • Traci Runge

    Senior Mass is one of the most beautiful and powerfully emotional experiences. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the morning. Mitch is a fine young man with a good head on his shoulders, it will be exciting to see him through this journey ❤️ Love and prayers to Lanny & Karen as they take time this weekend to celebrate. This is not the end, only the beginning ??

  • Pat McGill

    Good Day Betty…Really enjoyed reading about the Senior Mass, well done. Have a great time celebrating Mitch’s Day.

  • Joanne Coghill

    Thank you, Betty, for the Let Your Light Shine article. I found it while searching for a feminine angle on the Matthew 5:14-16 scripture. We’re presenting a Spirit Award to someone In our church Conference Association who has served above & beyond the usual. Her gift is an Infinity Candle whose holder has two mirrored surfaces, so that the candle flame reflects off into Infinity. The Edith Wharton quotation is especially appropriate too. Thanks & blessings!!

    • Betty Streff

      You have no idea how that tickled me – thank you! Please consider subscribing. Only about a 3 minute read twice a week!

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