Reunion Weekend

All alumni are invited back to campus for Reunion Weekend on June 3 and 4. Come spend the weekend with fellow alumni reconnecting and reminiscing.

Saint Ignatius High School

A Lesson for Seniors From Their Subs

This week, Mr. Healey assists the Admissions Committee with selecting the Class of 2026. In those teachers covering his classes and in the material being used by his subs, these seniors can find a very valuable lesson in Christian sacrifice.
Throughout this week I have been and will continue to be working with Pat O’Rourke ’90 and the Admissions Committee as we choose the Class of 2026. Because of this activity I cannot be in the classroom and so several of my colleagues have graciously offered their services in taking over my classes this week.
 
One of the things that we teachers always try to keep in mind when we have a planned absence is the work that we are asking subs to do. There is an internal pressure to make things as smooth as possible for the person who is giving up the 70 blissful minutes that a free period affords.  Because I have done this Admissions Committee thing for a number of years, there is a tried and true lesson plan for my absences: Father (now Bishop) Barron’s six part series Priest, Prophet, King.
 
I’m not sure that the seniors are necessarily getting all that they can from these six talks, but when I get back I will try to do the catch-up work necessary to bring out some of the interesting parallels between the life and mission of Jesus on the one hand and the sacred Old Testament offices of Priest, Prophet, and King on the other.
 
Because we modern Catholics do not live in or have much sense of the Old Testament world, these offices - especially those of Prophet and King - don’t have much of a resonance with us.  We can get a pretty good handle on the idea of Priest from our experience of the sacramental priesthood, but even there we are not very in tune with the bloody, sacrificial duties of an Old Testament priest.
 
The six talks given by Fr. Barron are a great source of both theological and historical information about these three anointed offices and how they directly relate to Jesus and are fulfilled in His living out their roles. All who take on the role of Priest, Prophet, or King must now, because of the example of Jesus, be seen through a Christological lens.
 
More than redefining the Old Testament roles, Jesus perfects them in Himself, giving them a clarity and a unity never before seen in the ministries of the merely human occupants of those offices. Being able to use Jesus as the paradigm - the Priest, Prophet, and King par excellence, enables anyone who has been bestowed with any of these roles to know exactly what should and should not be done. Human priests, prophets, and kings are certainly fallible, but at least they know the mountain that they are called to climb.
 
But beyond the clarity of purpose, what really matters - and is brought out repeatedly by Fr. Barron - is the unity of purpose that binds these three offices together. Stated in the exact form as is used in the talks, “In a world gone wrong, there is no communion without sacrifice.” As long as there is sin in the world, then the unifying principle of priests, prophets, and kings must be sacrifice. If someone wishes to be a priest, a prophet, or a king then the sacrifice and the humility necessary for a Christ-like execution of duties is essential.
 
Those who are willing to take on the daunting task of leadership in the Church and in the world, must first be willing to sacrifice, to serve. As Jesus says to His quarreling Apostles, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
 
If that is the only lesson that my seniors take away from these great talks, then I’ll consider it a win.  And, as I explain all of this to them I will have the built-in examples of my colleagues who made the sacrifice of their time to cover classes and to be examples of Christ-like service to others.
 
A.M.D.G.