Holy One, at this season of the year, people of all faiths – and people of no faith – look for signs of peace and hope and meaning in the world. And so, here, today, at the beginning of this program, we turn to you. We watch, and we listen, and we want to believe that there is among us today something more powerful than evil, something stronger than senseless violence, something more compelling and satisfying than hate and despair.
And fittingly, we need look no further than this place, on this day. We give thanks for graduates who have worked for something more important than themselves, who have given time and energy and dollars, to achieve something that has meaning and value in the world. We give thanks for family members and loved ones who also worked and sacrificed and waited for this day to come. We give thanks for faculty members who believed in what they were doing and believed in their students and believed that with knowledge and skill and practice doors would open, lives would improve, hope would grow. We give thanks for Broward College and its vision and purpose and place in this community.
With degree in hand, with classes and papers and reports at an end, with mission accomplished at long last, we pray that we may see this day not as the end or the culmination of anything, but rather as the beginning of something. We pray that you will grow in each of us a sense of purpose that transcends this degree. Help us to take what we have learned and mastered – and then become aware of a calling or vocation. Help us to live with purpose – the conviction that we are here for some reason, that wherever we are, wherever we go, wherever you lead us, we will make a difference.
Push us, we pray, as we’ve never been pushed before. Guide us, when we’re lost. Grab us with your strong hand, when we’re about to fall. And grant us your peace as we set out on the sacred journey of our lives.
Glory to you…in this holy season. Amen.