Shaker Erbini: 2024 Invocation

Author: Jessica Sieff

As is our tradition at the University of Notre Dame, let us begin with prayer.

Oh God, Creator of the Heavens and Earth, you are the Most Merciful, the Especially Merciful. Your mercy is the reason we are able to gather here today. Your mercy is infinite; it encompasses everything. It is visible in the relationships that we have formed over our four years here and that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

It was felt in the moments in which we were given advice by a friend or mentor, the moments in which we prayed together, and the moments in which we endured the loss of several classmates to unexpected accidents and the loss of loved ones to the pandemic. Your mercy made it possible to spend our freshman year here, on campus, when so many universities could not afford to do the same. Your mercy continues to be felt in this moment, four years later, as we graduate with our classmates. May you let us always observe, feel, and experience your mercy in our lives.

Oh God, we cannot be thankful to you without thanking those whom you have put in our lives to support us.

Thank you to our families who have had to sacrifice so much for us to be here. And thank you to our Notre Dame family who welcomed us, nurtured us, and challenged us to become better students, friends, and servants of yours.

Oh God, you are the knower of the unseen. You know the dreams we hope to accomplish in our hearts, so we ask you to make them a reality. You also know our intentions, so we ask you for a sincere intention in all that we do. Let our intention be for your sake, not because you benefit, but because we benefit and the world benefits when we sincerely strive for your sake.

Finally, Oh God, we ask you to let us be voices for the voiceless. May you guide us to use the privilege and influence we have as members of the Notre Dame family to bring peace and justice to all who are suffering and oppressed in the world. Let us be forces for good. 

We ask you to please protect us, guide us, and bless us in this endeavor as we leave our home. Amen.