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Friday, March 27, 2015

Learning from Our Students and Children

"Teaching is food, even for the teacher." St. Gregory of Nazienzen

Anyone who has had the privilege of teaching, especially about our faith, knows the truth of what St. Gregory says. Not only is teaching food for the teacher, it is formative. A good principle in this regard, especially after many years of teaching, is to ask yourself whether you are still being formed by those you teach. All authentic teaching ought to be mutually enriching. Students, no matter how young, have a wisdom. No one is a blank slate, and everyone open to the grace of God, can and ought to learn her entire life.

Jesus is clearly food for the entire community of faith, but he also must have been moved and shaped by the steadfastness of his disciples, especially in view of his persecution by the leadership of the Jewish community. It must have been very difficult for his apostles to remain faithful to him and his mission in the face of so much opposition. Even though they knew their lives were threatened, they continued to follow him.

The challenge for contemporary believers is similar. It is no secret that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church has lost is political capital, making it even more important for everyday Catholics to proclaim the Good News on behalf of the poor. The number of people without jobs and whose homes are threatened by foreclosure is huge. Almost 13 million Americans can't find work that will pay them a living wage. When we stand firmly behind those who are struggling, we will also be fed by the truth. "Teaching is food, even for the teacher."

Today, tell the truth and proclaim the gospel with your life.

Have you learned something important from your students/children?

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