Tuesday of the Third Week


Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a
Ps 71:3-4a, 5-6ab, 16-17
Lk 1:5-25


The set of readings for today reminds me of the honor parents bestow upon us when they send their children to be educated at USD.  Each child is a precious gift from God who represents the hopes parents, teachers, and communities have for a better future.  It is the responsibility of all of us to care for and to teach these children because it in many ways they are our only promise for "deliverance."
In the first reading, Manoah and his wife bear a son named Samson despite all odds.  It is this child who promises to "begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines."  In the Gospel reading, it is the child who will "go before him in the spirt and power of Elijah and turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous and prepare a people to fit for the Lord."  Our belief is that USD contributes to the nurturing of God's children by preparing our students to go forth as ethical and compassionate citizens ready to live meaningful lives.
Students who choose USD for their education begin the three millennia old conversation about the letters, arts, sciences, and inventions of humankind.  This conversation is what prepares our students to go out into the world to solve problems and to lead happy lives.
Parents and family members should know that we will work to enlighten their children by asking them to seek academic challenges that stretch every curiosity, experience the excitement by connecting the small picture to the panoramic view, and to feel joy in building interpretations on controversial topics.  They should also rest assured that we value the whole student and commit to cultivate a sense of belonging while they are with us at USD.
In the Alleluia response, it is written that a "sign of God's love for all of his people" is this kind of tender care for our children.  The faculty, administrators, and staff at USD all approach our students and their education with a similar kind of love and devotion.
Noelle Norton, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Political Science and International Relations