By ZOE CANNON
GRATITUDE FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH
“The things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Paul assigns Timothy to instruct faithful leaders who will teach the good news about Jesus by applying truth in Scripture. This sincere communication from Paul to Timothy is about defending the faith in a time of doctrinal rejection and the challenges of growing the early Church.
In the light of the Spirit of truth, the Apostles as successors of Jesus preserved the Word of God faithfully in their preaching. Our Baptismal promises call us to be faithful and share this good news by our witness. The culture we live in today makes this mission difficult. Technology provides immediate access to information, but sources are not always accurate. We are blessed as believers because both sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture provide truth in the teachings of Jesus. Grace in the sacraments strengthens us for the journey of sharing the faith entrusted to us.
The material we use to teach our children in the classroom is important; facts and fundamentals prepare us for all aspects of life. Our grandsons are homeschooled, and I am blessed to teach them social studies and religion. This year we are beginning the semester with Indiana history, the catechism and a bible study. They wanted to study the synoptic gospels this year; they think synoptic is a great word. I love teaching children! I found a great resource; the title of the book is “The Four Gospels for Young Catholics,” published by Pauline Books and Media. I had the boys read the introduction of the book and asked them to summarize what they learned. The first comment was, “the word gospel means good news, these stories are over 2,000 years old, and we are supposed to share them.” I know it is going to be a great school year!
I purchased another great resource, “Catechism for Children,” by Angelus Press. The book covers 373 pages of Catholic teaching; and each chapter begins with a Gospel story, a short series of review questions, a lesson plan and an application for life section. Sharing the faith with children is a great blessing, especially in a world often void of God. The confusion in our culture reminds me that it is not just important to teach children what they need to know, but why it is needed in their lives.
As I share my faith and love of country with these precious children, they are reminding me what is important in life: genuine honesty, happiness, humor, patience, realistic expectations, unconditional love and the need to be prepared for anything. “Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
The Church continues to grow because of faithful men and women. The Knights of Columbus Fraternity in Vincennes recently honored Maurice Vieck and his family after a Mass at St. Francis Xavier. Maurice, who will soon be 98 years old, and his family received “The Family of the Month Award.” In 2020, they were awarded as “Illiana Family of the Year” with four generations of Viecks operating the farm on Essex Road.
The gift of family loyalty and faith in God are so needed in our society. God bless all families that teach the faith well and know why they need it in their lives! The protection of marriage and family create a healthy society. Share what you have heard in the presence of faithful witnesses with those you love, so they may teach others! The traditions you create in your family can make a difference in the world! Amen!