Although the school year is over here in Chicago, today we celebrate the reason for our existence – the desire, motivation and action of one man who wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. Given the fact that Marcellin put his plan into action two hundred years ago, there is a danger of dismissing him as someone who lived in a world much simpler than ours, but it helps to remember that for the time in which he lived, Marcellin’s world was as confusing and frightening as ours is today. Despite the many challenges he faced throughout his life, Marcellin came to understand that on his own he could not accomplish what he set out to do without a relationship with Jesus and Mary at the heart of his life and mission.
Is this not the same challenge we face today? Do we not wonder if what we are doing is worth it; if what we’re doing makes a difference? Do we not, at times, grapple with our relationship with God? If we choose to see ourselves as the inheritors of Marcellin’s vision and legacy, then our conviction that our lives must be rooted in a relationship with Jesus, and Mary has to be at the very heart of who we are and what we do.
Marcellin is our “door” to a deeper relationship with Jesus and Mary. Marcellin is our reminder that rooted in God, we can do more than we could ever imagine.
May this feast day give us pause to reflect on our need for God and to give thanks for what God has done for us and through us.