On Sunday afternoon, I heard the best valedictory address, ever. Luke Wilgenbusch graduated as valedictorian of his class at Father Ryan High School here in Nashville. The graduation in all other ways was completely conventional, well at least for a Catholic school. We did pray, after all! (I should not take that for granted.)
Then Luke spoke. All conventionality went out of the window. He was not even unconventional in a conventional way. You know, the smart edgy high school rebel. Or the fundamentalist way of giving a call to salvation, that, although predictable, makes everyone uncomfortable.
No -- Luke spoke as his own man, from his own identity which he has discovered most radically in Jesus Christ encountered in the communion of the Catholic Church. Luke Wilgenbusch has been revealed to himself by Jesus Christ. That is what he shared with us with authenticity and vulnerability. I hope his classmates were listening. I hope that we all were listening. I hope that Father Ryan High School will see that this address is posted widely. It should go viral!