Bishop J. Mark Spalding said he wanted the Catholic School students to remember one thing when their parents asked them, “What did you learn today?”
“I am created good!”
Bishop Spalding told more than 1,000 students representing all the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Nashville, this during his homily at the All Schools Mass Friday, Feb. 10, at the Catholic Pastoral Center’s Sagrado Corazón. The special Mass was in honor of Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29 through Feb. 4. The Mass was rescheduled from its original date of Feb. 2, due to inclement weather.
“We as a Church teach that God created all things good, especially me and you,” Bishop Spalding said, after asking the students to repeat the above phrase after him. “That doesn’t mean we don’t lose our way.
“People do lose their way, but in the Church, we never fail to say there’s a way back, there’s a way to understand that key teaching that ‘I am created good,’ that the world is created out of the goodness of God and out of that love, and he, God, cannot stop loving you.”
“This is the core of the good news,” the bishop said. “He wants us all to remember that God has created us all in his love and his goodness, and he wants us to know that love and goodness in our life.”
That ultimate goodness comes in the person of Jesus Christ, whom we receive in the Eucharist every time we go to Mass, he said.
“Every time we remember Jesus at his words and his deeds and his life, every time we come to celebrate Christ given to us at this altar, when he gives us his very self, body and blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, we’re strengthening ourselves,” Bishop Spalding said. “And we’re reminded by his words, his deeds, his actions, and the proclamation of the good news: I am created good, and God can’t stop loving me. And once I know that, I can’t stop telling others that good news as well.”
Then, Bishop Spalding led the group in another saying; one that he shares every time he visits the schools.
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.”
“Now here’s the secret,” Bishop Spalding said. “‘I am created good.’ That one line ties to the other. God’s ever perfecting us through his grace and the gift of that grace given through Christ his son, and the Holy Spirit.”
At the end of Mass, Dr. Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools, spoke to the group and thanked all those who contribute to the success of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Nashville, from the students themselves all the way to Bishop Spalding.
“We all constitute the Catholic Church in Middle Tennessee from top to bottom. We are one community, and that’s why we come together on days like today to celebrate all that is good in our Catholic schools,” Dr. Hammel said. “Do you see, all of this coming together as this one community, this Catholic Church in Middle Tennessee, we are pretty awesome when we work together in that community all for the glory of God.”
To view the full Mass, visit the Diocese of Nashville Facebook page.