The readings today have a common theme: teaching. It is also teacher appreciation week in the United States (world teacher’s day is October 5th). Coincidence or work of the Holy Spirit?
My life has been filled with many teachers: Mrs. Bonasi, Mr. Furman, Ms. Moceri, Mr. Barton, Mrs. Lienweber, Mrs. Domke, Mrs. Childers, and Mr. Jacoby to name a few. My education, however, began with my parents. I have a strong faith life because of the model from my parents and grandparents. Their lessons have been reinforced, and new ones learned, from all sorts of people I’ve encountered–teachers and catechists, family and friends, mentors and foes. Some lessons are easier than others, but all contribute to who we are.
We find in the first reading the apostle Philip being prompted by an angel to walk a specific road out of Jerusalem. He sees a chariot passing by. Philip, encouraged by the Holy Spirit, asks the passenger if he understands what is reading. The reply, “How can I, unless someone instructs me? Then Philip opened his mouth and, …he proclaimed Jesus to him.” He listened and learned from Philip. He had Philip baptize him. He continued on his way rejoicing in the Lord.
Can you recall a time when you had the fire and love of God enkindled in your heart that you too were rejoicing in the Lord? Was there someone, a song, or a moment that touched your soul? When I experience any of these times, I am usually compelled to reach out to someone I love and trust. Many rejoice with me as believers in the eternal life taught by God through Jesus his Son, the bread of life. The reaction that I receive, however, is not always what I expect.
Not all who I’ve trusted have listened and learned from the teachings of God. I’m encouraged when this happens though by the words of Pope Francis. “Teaching is a beautiful job; as it allows you to see the growth day by day of people entrusted to your care. It is a little like being parents, at least spiritually. It is a great responsibility.”
Each of us is called to be a teacher of the Word. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this as part of our baptismal covenant. Each is to be a witness of the love outpoured for us on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we continue in this Easter season let us rejoice and be thankful for those who teach us in His ways and in our shared faith.
Beth is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She brings a unique depth of experience to the group due to her time spent in education, parish ministries, sales and the service industry over the last 25 yrs. She is a practicing spiritual director as well as a Secular Franciscan (OFS). Beth is quick to offer a laugh, a prayer or smile to all she comes in contact with. Reach her here firstname.lastname@example.org.