The 7th Meditation
That the care of instructing youth is one of the most necessary works in the Church
194.1 First Point
The summary of this entire meditation must be emphasized. You must, then, regard your work, which has been entrusted to you by pastors and by fathers and mothers, as one of the most important and necessary services in the Church. The teaching of children and opening to them the possibility of growing in their faith, and most importantly, to accept the gift of salvation, can easily be seen as having importance in the endeavor of the gospel.
How much more is the case when in society poor children are left to their own devices, with nothing to do during the day and no education to get a job, let alone being unaware of the gift of salvation. Such a sad state of affairs.
And yet today life has its challenges too. While they may not be left to their own devices, we still live at a time where for too many their simply is not the education available to them to get better opportunities. The young are among the least evangelized group, and are not being made aware of the precious gift of salvation.
And so all who work as Lasallians continue to critical work today. By providing opportunities that come from education, by touching the minds and hearts of our students, by modelling a Christian lifestyle, we are able to engage in the most important ministry of helping our students to accept the gift of salvation.
194.2 The Second Point
De La Salle also makes the point that this essential ministry of teaching and education was the first tasks the Fathers of the Church took up. This is important because De La Salle makes the point that those closest in time to Jesus made the important decision to educate the faithful, some even by producing catechisms.
But it is not just the apostles or the Church Fathers who were entrusted with the task, but so too are we today. “Say the same thing, that this is why Jesus Christ has sent you and why the Church, whose ministers you are, employs you. Bring all the care needed, then, to fulfill this function with as much zeal and success as the saints have had in fulfilling it.”
And so this mission, this ministry, entrusted to you by the Church, and the Lord Jesus Himself, demonstrates how dignified and important is this vocation given us. Eternal things ride on the witness and instruction we provide the students in our care. This is not simply a good way to earn a living or to become a professional educator. It is, most of all, the pathway to holiness and salvation.
194.3 The Third Point
So for De La Salle, in the words of Saint Paul, we “have become fellow citizens with the saints and servants of God’s household. They are the structure that has been built on the foundation of the Apostles and raised up by Jesus Christ. They have become the sanctuary where God dwells through his Holy Spirit.”
Wow! Can you imagine a higher call than this? Can you see how highly the Church, and by extension, Christ Himself see the work that is being done in his name? Whether it is in teaching Math or Science, History or English, or Religion, you are working to build a foundation of faith that will last for an eternity.
Questions to Ponder
How do you see yourself as a minister of the gospel?
What is the message of faith you think is most important to communicate today?
In what ways do you have the sense of being called by God, and answering this call as a Lasallian?