A farmer found an Eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of
a barnyard hen. The Eagle hatched with the brood of
chicks and grew up with them. All his life the young
eagle did what barnyard chicks did thinking he was a
barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And every now and then, he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet in the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in a cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The eagle looked up in awe. “Who is that?” he asked.
“That’s the Eagle,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the heavens. We belong to the earth. We’re chickens.”
So the Eagle lived and died a chicken-----because that’s what he thought he was.
Unleashing the Holy Spirit begins with “waking up” and discovering the answer to the age old question--”Who am I?”
Am I born for the earth or am I born for heaven? Am I a chicken or am I an eagle?
We search for identity and meaning in roles we play. We say that I am an athlete? I am a business owner? I am a school teacher? I am a headmaster? I am a father, mother, son or daughter.
These are all good and noble roles but do they really answer the question, Who am I?.
The only real answer to this who am I question must be always true regardless of our roles, conditions or circumstances. Our true identity can never leave us. It is eternal.
In Galatians 4 we are taught about our true identity:
“God sent His Son, born of woman…so that we might receive adoption as children. And because we are children, God has sent the spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba’! ‘Father!’ So through God you are no longer a slave but a child, And if a child then an heir.”
So God sent His Son, Our Lord, who gained for us the most precious of gifts—The Holy Spirit. It is through him that we become heirs of Our Father in heaven. The Holy Spirit is the breath of life that infuses us with God’s love and peace. The love and peace that we are all searching for but, sadly, often fail to find in our earthly pursuits.
At the Regina Academy @ St John the Baptist the children are identified by their only true identity—as children of God infused with the Holy Spirit and, as such, nurtured to become the Eagles that God created them to be.
Think of the quote form Galatians 4 again. “You are my children.” God is our,”Abba”—our Dad.
Please pull out the little postcard that is at your seat. I would like you to take out a pen and fill it out. “ I am a child of God.” Let’s say that out loud I want you to take that card with you and keep it to remind yourself of your true identity.
I am a child of God. We are all sons and daughters of an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God. This is a reality that brings powerful meaning and purpose to our daily lives when we embrace it as our real and true identity.
It is when we unite our will to God’s that we begin to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit. It is then that we begin to more fully utilize the gifts of our inheritance----The Gifts of the Holy Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety and wonder.
You can see this power unleashed---more accurately, you can feel this power unleashed in the classrooms when you walk the halls of this humble building.
The recognition of each child’s true identity is the magical ingredient that turns the classical education experience into a transformational experience. It is the secret sauce that nurtures each child’s spiritual growth and turns these students into virtuous leaders positioned to transform society in the image of God.
If our student speaker Maria was still here I would submit her as Exhibit 1 in the case for the Academy.
The Holy Spirit is unleashed every day at The Academy and the evidence can be found all over.
Going from a school with 72 students that was slated to close to a 59% enrollment increase in less than 3 years once the community said “yes” to God’s plan is the Holy Spirit unleashed.
This year the Holy Spirit was unleashed big time in the life of 7th grade student Zoe Kowal and her family when Zoe decided to enter the Catholic faith at the
Easter Vigil Mass receiving Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation
The Holy Spirit was unleashed when the students, faculty, parents and staff came together and put on a theater worthy production of Mary Poppins.
The power of the Holy Spirit was present the night we dedicated the new Music Room to our beloved Uncle Dick Lessard.
In a few moments you will meet Greg and Amy Mattle in our video and they will share their powerful introduction to the academy by the Holy Spirit.
If you get a chance, speak to any of our Academy parents and you will hear a compelling story about the Holy Spirit being unleashed!
And Make no mistake about it----we are all present today at the urging of the Holy Spirit. God’s will for each of us is unfolding as we gather here. He is calling us to accept our inheritance.
When we embrace our identity and accept our inheritance it is no longer I but Christ who lives in me. We begin to free ourselves of our self- imposed limits. We begin to trust that God will multiply our gifts when we use them to know him, love Him and serve Him.
Our job becomes to give Him all that we have knowing all that we have will not be enough until The Holy Spirit unleashes His power within us and multiplies our offering. It is then that God’s will is working in us. Suddenly obstacles become challenges. The impossible becomes possible. A little school can thrive, not die.
When you identify as an heir to God and unite your will to His you become a powerful source of change in a world that needs change. You wake up in a world where all things seem possible. He can make all things new.
When you use your Gifts of the Spirit in ways that are self- transcending in the service of others and God’s will your life will be filled with purpose.
You will be blessed with the fruits of the Spirit that our loving Father desires for you including the love, joy and peace that we are all searching for.
Like all inheritances, our inheritance as God’s children is a gift. We have done nothing to earn our identity as a Child of God. But it does come with some important responsibilities.
The family of the Academy Community has accepted the sacred responsibility to educate the children in the faith. For the past 5 years we have seen the power of the Holy Spirit unleashed in the journey of this “Little School that Could.”
As sons and daughters of God -through the persistent urging of the Holy Spirit- we have allowed ourselves to be used to create this “miracle in Ottsville.”
Today we ask for the support of your time, treasure and talent to continue this important mission of nurturing the spiritual and academic growth of the children of this community. With your help we can continue the work of helping these children become virtuous leaders like you witnessed earlier in our student speaker.
We have seen what happens when a group of folks begin to realize that we are not brothers and sisters because we share the blood of a temporal parent but rather we are brothers and sisters because we share the blood of Christ.
This is the bond that unites us.
This is the bond that makes us a community.
This is the bond that makes us a family.
We are heirs to an eternal legacy. A legacy that is the only way to peace, joy and love. It is a legacy that we have a sacred responsibility to pass on to future generations of God’s children.
For most of us, it is quite simply the most meaningful, purposeful and important mission we will ever undertake.
Thank you so much for your commitment to this worthy cause and:
May the Holy Spirit come and fill the hearts of the faithful. Kindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit so we shall be created.
So through us and these precious students you will renew the face of the earth.
May you all unleash the power of the Holy Spirit within you and may you become the eagle that God created you to be.