Peace to you!
The most important daily activity Jesus engaged in during his life on earth was teaching. True we love the stories about Jesus healing the lame and the sick, giving sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers and raising the dead but more important than all of those miracles is his teaching.
In the Gospel, we pick up from where we left off last weekend and all the people were amazed at the gracious words that Jesus spoke. But suddenly, things changed—drastically! By the end of the account, they wanted to kill him! Why? Because Jesus knew they didn’t believe what he taught them and that a miracle would only fascinate them. Sincere faith however, doesn’t need a miracle. The miraculous events for the widow of Sidon and Naaman the Syrian were given because sincere faith was already there.
This week we pay attention to Catholic schools—and Catholic education. I was educated in a Catholic school by Dominican Sisters from first to twelfth grade. Then later, my college undergraduate and graduate level studies were completed with the Benedictines at Mt. Angel Seminary. Looking back, I believe that the greatest gift I have ever received in my life has been an education and more importantly, a Catholic one. What makes it distinctive? It’s not just learning to read, write, do math or play sports. A Catholic education is first of all grounded in belief and practice. The Catholic values that form the whole person travel into whatever activities we engage in and become part of our institutional structures including business corporations, city hall and national policies. This ensures honesty; not corruption, justice; not inequality, compassion and care for others; not cruelty and cold indifference, love; not hate.
The value that the Catholic school environment brings to our places of activity is virtually inestimable! It is beyond an earthly price and it leads to an eternal reward for the individual and society!
Not many of our families are able to attend a Catholic school these days. We know that this increases the importance of our religious education programs in the parish setting. I am very impressed and proud of our families that volunteer and make the effort to teach the faith to our children and adults. Teaching and learning the faith is the top priority in the mission of the Church.
As the Annual Catholic Appeal draws near, keep in mind that the support we give is needed and a large percentage of the Appeal income supports Catholic education. God bless you all! +++ Fr. Peter