As leaders and teachers of our parishes within our diocese, we are all in one way or another teaching our parishioners. So it is appropriate to refer to all those who have occupied leading positions in our communities as teachers. While this is an honor, its accountability is high! For whatever we say or do may not only impact people’s lives, but their eternity.
Whether we are posting on social media or speaking with a fellow faithful during coffee hour, whether we are standing in the sanctuary, teaching in a classroom, or sitting at a meeting, whether we are barbecuing at the Church picnic or counseling at Church camp, whether we are conducting the Church choir or coaching a sports team, we are teaching intentionally and unintentionally to people of all ages.
God gave to this world teachers for the work of ministry and for edifying the body of Christ. Yes, we may trust our priests and lay ministers who have attended seminary to shepherd our people to God, but we need to keep in mind that we are part of this same mission. The body of Christ includes people of different talents, graces, functions, skills, artistry.
In order to have a robust Church, we need to ensure that our tasks fulfill the needs of the Body of Christ. With our level of competence, we need to open the eyes of our people not only to witness love, but to live and share it! We take on the God given blessing to reflect his image to others through us.
An uttered word or a silent gesture ministers louder than expected. So we need to be aware neither to hurt, betray, oppress, distress, burden, persecute, dishonor, shame, deceive, nor curse our fellow human beings no matter their age and background. As teachers of our communities, we need to remind ourselves that we need to resonate the Truth, because others are following our example.
As voluntary or fortuitous teachers, we need to follow the teaching example of the ultimate teacher, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the needs boiling in the depths of the hearts of those within as well as beyond the scopes of our Diocese.
Teaching involves living in the Spirit using the fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness and temperance. Use the graces and examples given by Jesus Christ in order to become:
Teachers who are good.
Teachers who assure their students are not afraid.
Teachers who use the word of God to teach.
Teachers who speak the Truth.
Teachers who trigger the students’ curiosity and encourage them to ask questions.
Teachers who have a vision and purpose.
Teachers who assure that the students are physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.
Teachers who sacrifice for their students.
No matter the circumstance, the students should be assured to trust their teacher.
Whatever we sow, that is what we will reap. So if we teach using the gifts of the Spirit granted to us, we may plant the seed for our community to reap eternal life; for the students will share in all the good things of the teacher.
Consequently, the cross we carry is not light. But surely, the light and image of Jesus Christ within us will be passed on to our students if we allow the wisdom lit in us on our baptismal day shine through our words and actions. It is our students who then will enlighten the coming generations.
Whether we are teachers with solid lesson plans embedded in the most up to date pedagogical methodologies or people with different set of skills serving our communities in various leadership positions, we must be aware that every word we say and every move we make, they’ll be learning from us.
So let’s pray that our thoughts, words, and deeds will spring from the Spirit of God as we lead and teach with understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of God.