This is Mr. Weber's address to the JPII student body on November 11, 2008.
We sing a song at our school masses occasionally, called “Go Make a Difference”. The lyrics are very simple: “Go make a difference, you can make a difference. Go make a difference in this world”.
Well, if you lean to the slightly cynical, as I do from time to time, you’re thinking: In the face of massive poverty, war, starvation in some parts of the world, and the all pervasive influence of sin, can we REALLY make a difference, or is this just polly-annish Christian do-goodism?
A thought experiment:
According to the World Data Base, as on June of this year, the world’s population was 6,673,286,767 and growing at an annual rate of 1.17%.
Suppose, by some catastrophic world event that shattered the faith of everyone in the world except for you, that you ended up the world’s only Christian. Since you believe it’s very important--most important, in fact-- you try and convert people back to the Christian faith.
Suppose a modest estimate is that you bring back only 2 people into the faith each year, and that these new Christians bring back 2 new Christians each year. So after year there are 3 of you, after year two there are 9, after year 3 there are 27, etc.
How many years would it take before the entire world became Christian, at that rate?
Just 21 years—the whole world could be Christian in just one generation.
But that’s starting from just one. Though estimates vary, there are approximately 2 billion Christians in the world today, or just less than 1/3 of the world. If we took our faith seriously, what kind of difference could Christians make in this world?
You may have seen those very effective Liberty Mutual commercials on TV, in which a good deed, done in kindness, causes others to do good deeds through-out the day. We forget, I think, the power we each have to make a difference in our families, in our school, and in this community—simply by going out of our way to be kind to one another.
Go, make a difference.