Every Day Is a Precious Gift

Jose E. Roca | Principal
This column was featured in the September 2016 edition of the eNewsletter which was sent to every student, parent, faculty, staff, and alumnus.
Saint Ignatius invites us to find God’s presence in our lives on a daily basis.  Sometimes God speaks to us in a gentle voice through prayer and meditation.  Other times He communicates with us through the people and events around us, which call us to discern God’s will in our own lives.

Two events surrounding the Miami Marlins occurred recently that highlight the importance of living our lives to the fullest and striving to make the world a better place. One involved a principal throwing out a first pitch, and the other involved a professional pitcher.  Both individuals are known for their bravery and service to their communities.

On Friday, September 23, South Dade Principal Javier Pérez threw out the first pitch at Marlins Stadium.  What was remarkable about that feat was the Principal Pérez had been in a horrible accident just four months earlier in which he lost both of his legs.  Principal Pérez is one of those people who lead through example and he wanted to inspire others to cherish each day and make the most of our time here on earth.  In an interview, Principal Pérez said about his accident, This was maybe a gift from God because He knew I could handle it and the beautiful things that we’re gonna be able to do together.”  Jesus tells us that we must pick up our cross and carry it. Can we carry our cross with a smile and work to make our community better even in times of grief and sorrow? Can we reach out to someone who is in need and offer our assistance? Those are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves in light of Principal Pérez’ actions.

On Sunday, September 25, Miami Marlins Pitcher, José Fernández, died in a boating accident at the age of 24.  The world not only lost a great pitcher, but also a person who had a great zest for life.  As many friends and teammates have stated, José Fernández appreciated living in freedom because it cost him so much to achieve it.  José Fernández was not only enthusiastic about his career as a pitcher, giving each game his maximum effort, he also volunteered his time to serve those in need and was available to his fans as often as possible.  Although José’s life was cut short, his untimely death and the circumstances surrounding it do not diminish the great impact he had on his community.

Both Javier Pérez and José Fernández remind us that every day is a precious gift from God.  Therefore, we must not squander the opportunity to love one another and strive for the Magis in all that we do.
500 SW 127th Avenue, Miami, FL 33184
phone: 305.223.8600 | fax: 305.227.2565 | email: webmaster@belenjesuit.org
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain.  The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline.  In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty.  The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow.  Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.