Catholic Education Foundation 2023 Essay Winner — As Jesus Has

Addison Mulrooney

“You are loved, so be a source of love in the world.” That is the first thing my theology teacher taught me when starting his class this year. Since learning this I have found that this teaching is one of those teachings that is a lot easier to preach than it is to carry out. It’s so easy to forget what it means to be a source of love in the world when we are riding on the roller coaster that is life.

Are we too busy or are we just too indolent? Are we too scared or are we too prideful? Do we truly have too much to do or is it just that the thought of taking five minutes to read the Bible makes us want to verbally groan. I was once guilty of using all these excuses and more. Not only would I step away from God, but I would also ignore what I knew was the right thing to do just for the sake of holding onto my pride.

I am a 16-year-old sophomore student at Holy Cross High School; I am also a growing young woman. I have found (like many others I’m sure) that it is easy to get caught up in other’s perceptions of you. There are still many things I need to learn, but by reading and understanding Jesus’ works and by attending a school like Holy Cross that teaches these works to us, I feel I have spiritually grown so much. Jesus has taught me the kind of woman I want to grow to be. I would not have been able to find this part of myself without the teachings of Jesus or the support of Holy Cross.

“Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.” — Mark 1:41-42

We all know the kids with the incredibly dull label of “outcasts.” Jesus wouldn’t even acknowledge labels like this. Following Jesus’ example, I ignore the social statuses people place on others. I talk to those who are usually ignored. I ask for the opinions of those who are so commonly shunned. I include those who are often left to sit off to the side with feelings of neglect. Jesus has loved us all, so I try my hardest to do the same.

“All right but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” — John 8:7

I had to take a long time to learn and practice this message from Jesus. It is not an easy thing to set aside our need to be the judge and instead choose to be an open minded and morally aware person. But Jesus did it, so I know I want to do it too. I used to get so frustrated and mad with others because of their actions, because I didn’t believe it was right. I have caused countless fights in friendships because instead of being there for my friends I tried to judge them and make them feel wrong for their mistakes. We are all people that are built off mistakes, either others or our own; why should we feel power over those who do as we do every day? God is the one true judge, and I have found that it is so much easier to love others than it is to judge others.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” — John 15: 12

Jesus understands the hardships of this life, He lived through them. And because of Jesus’ understanding, He has made the commandments simple. Jesus has told us to love. To love is to follow the Man above. Talk to everyone, even the outcasts, as Jesus has. Learn understanding and love over judgment, as Jesus has. And finally, because we are so loved by Him, choose to be a source of love in the world, as Jesus has always been, and always will be.

Addison Mulrooney is a sophomore at Holy Cross High School.

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