The 4th Meditation
What must be done to be true cooperators with Jesus Christ for the salvation of children
196.1 First Point
The Fourth Meditation makes an observation and provide assistance. Teaching is hard. Ministry is hard. There are going to be times when it might even appear that you cannot go on. But that is precisely where you need to recognize the grace of God. For when we fully trust in God, in Jesus, it is at those moments when we realize that the burden is light and the yoke is easy.
And yet, we must remember that just as Jesus carried the sheep on his arms as the Good Shepherd, so know Jesus expects us to fulfill that role for those who struggle and suffer. Since such difficulties are not always obvious, we must see to it that will all students we are the gentlest of shepherds, in imitation of the Good Shepherd who is so gentle and loving with us.
We cannot do this on our own. And so when things become difficult, it is precisely then we need to remember God’s grace. We are not alone because God loves us. Relying on the powerful grace of God, and as De La Salle suggests, seeing the person of Jesus as the one who does all things through us, can help our burdens become light and our yokes easy.
196.2 Second Point
Jesus is the model for us in terms of how we interact with our students. Just as Jesus constantly showed his disciples what it means to follow him, bringing them along in the best and worst of times, so that they might learn how to model the actions of the Lord and Savior in their own lives.
In the same way, we too must model for our students the ways in which they should act and believe. By helping them to learn how to celebrate success and to feel supported in struggles, we become the important models of belief for those whom we serve. For just as Jesus taught us, so too we teach our students the ways in which what they are doing in school leads to salvation.
For it is the case in life that there are a variety of different experiences, and so it is quite important for us to help our students be faithful in all of them. As we mentioned, however, this is only possible to the degree that we realize all depends upon Jesus in our ministry and work.
196.3 The Third Point
In this section is the hardest of challenges. Can we make our words as spirit and life to those students we teach? Can we recognize that in all things we are being used by God for the life in full that He longs to give to all? Can we help our students to grow in faith?
By recognizing Jesus as the source of all we do, we can make the rightful distinction with the satisfaction our ministry can provide us, while at the same time recognizing our relationship with Jesus is what makes all this possible, and not only our own personal efforts.
For we live in an age where it can become easy to think that our actions are more important than the contemplative prayer that we are all called to do. As De La Salle reminds us, of the things we use, what is it that we have not been given? What talents do we develop without the help of others and the grace of God?
Questions to Ponder
How have you persevered when things got tough? What advice might you give to others about perseverance?
In what ways could the things the world consider horrors actually be a type of happiness?
What aspects of your ministry are you grateful to have, because you recognize you are cooperating with God’s grace?
What does it mean for us and our students to have life and have it to the full?