Jesús Colina, Aleteia’s global editor, urged the graduates to become great witnesses to love.
Beneath sunny skies, against the backdrop of the majestic Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., celebrated its 130th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 18th. At the invitation of the university, Jesús Colina, Aleteia’s global editor, addressed the graduates and their families.
In remarks punctuated with both humor and exhortation, Colina urged the graduates to become great witnesses to love.
Colina began his address by drawing the graduates’ attention to the great importance that Washington, the city of their studies, enjoys in the world. Like Rome of old, Washington presides over an emerging global order. This places a great responsibility on the shoulders of Christians who live, work, and study in Washington. As centuries ago Christians transformed Rome through the robust exercise of charity, so Christians today are called to transform Washington in the same way. Colina explained that in the areas of law, finance, and academia, Christians will contribute to Washington’s—and by extension, the world’s—flourishing not only through professional expertise but also through love, especially the love of one’s enemy.
Think of your future work in politics, in the media, in court rooms, in hospitals… Surely, this university has provided you with exceptional skills and the best possible training. Here, you have also learned the highest ethical standards. But you have also received something else: your love for one another, and an invitation to love your enemy. This is your real added value, this is the key to transforming the world, like the first Christians did during the Roman empire.
Colina impressed upon the graduates that their contemporaries, believers and unbelievers alike, are looking for this transforming love.
They are looking for Christians who are authentically happy. Christians who have experienced the encounter with Jesus Christ, a real Person. This encounter has made them joyful, confident, respectful of others, and often even really smart and funny.
In a final summary of his remarks, Colina exhorted the graduates to love their parents, their friends, their future colleagues, the Church, and especially their spouses. “If you really love,” Colina concluded, “you will transform your environment, you will transform America, you will transform the world.” And in a personal plea, Colina told the graduates: “We really need you: may your faith give us faith, may your hope give us hope, may your love give us love.”