By ZOE CANNON
GRATITUDE FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Teacher is mentioned 72 times in the Bible. Jesus was the Master Teacher. Tt was His mission in the world to seek and save the lost, and help man to know God the Father in an earthly and eternal way!
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bible teaches us the way of salvation through faith in Christ and guides us to know how to live in His ways. Education in the time of Jesus was a study in the written Word of the Torah. Students studied seven days a week and went to school instead of Synagogue. There was high value put upon knowledge of God and His works through moral and spiritual instructions. We live in a society that disavows holiness as a priority of values.
Every child loves to learn. I was an average student, but loved to read; so in some subjects, I was an overachiever. By the sixth grade, I realized mathematics was not my talent; it was challenging. Not understanding the process of solving a problem from start to finish is exasperating. Explanations like a number is never negative, or the absolute value (or modulus) | x | of a real number x is the non-negative value of x without regard to its sign, simply made no sense to me. Lack of knowledge can breed frustration, and could lead to unnecessary challenges in life! You cannot explain what you do not comprehend, and you cannot share what you do not have! This is true about every aspect of life.
As a young adult, I developed a hunger for more knowledge about the Catholic faith. I realized my formation was lacking, which hindered my understanding of Church teaching. I wanted a spiritually rich life, and I needed to do more than show up for Holy Mass. To fully participate in the Church, I wanted to know everything about what I professed to believe. I could never live long enough to read all the books I’ve purchased to help educate myself about the Catholic Church. The more I read, the more I understood the value of Absolute Truth! I am not comparing the education of numbers to the importance of spiritual instruction for the soul. Both are absolute, and the 2,000-year history of the Universal Catholic Church references Absolute Truth in the Teachings of Christ! I quickly learned that thousands of books make a nice library, but there is so much more to developing a relationship with God as a means for solving the problems of life!
Pray for the courage to stand for things that should not be compromised – especially in a culture where knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to one’s own beliefs, society or historical context. Absolute truth is something that is true in all circumstances; that fact cannot be changed. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).
Regardless of whether we realize it, we are all teaching someone with our actions and words. Children are listening and watching. Our world has evolved into a culture of death, and no one wants to be told his or her thought is wrong. Teachable moments are lost when we disregard truth to avoid conflict. A great conversation of learning and common sense may be lost forever because of fear! Time is a holy thing; we cannot control it, but we can manage it. God’s timing is everything. Our time on this earth is also His, so be competent and equipped for every good work by helping others know and live their Catholic faith. Amen!