‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his great love is without end.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
St Boniface, bishop and martyr
Edgar Dale (1900-85), an American educator once wrote, that ‘people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they see and hear, 70% of what they discuss with others, 80% of what they personally experience and 95% of what they teach others.’
The Gospel today (Mk 12:28-34) is proclaimed at Mass via the webcam or read in the New Testament.
A distinct phrase stands out in today’s Gospel (Mk 12:28-34). It reads, ‘many people came to Jesus, and listened to him gladly’. Jesus was a teacher. He taught the Good News not only in words, but also by example. He witnessed to God’s love. He didn’t act on his own accord but listened and acted on the will of his Father. Jesus taught people to pray by praying; to love by loving; to share by sharing; to forgive by forgiving; to serve by serving; to be inclusive by being inclusive of others. Jesus was a popular person though, not liked by everyone. On many occasions in the Gospel, people tried to catch him out. At one stage they intended throwing him over the cliff, but ‘he slipped through the crowd and walked away.’ (Lk 4:30).
Today we are invited to come to Jesus and to stand with those people who ‘listened to him gladly’. As a teacher, Jesus used the experiences of life and the images of the day to teach those who listened. If the people listened ‘gladly’, they might have liked what they heard and they were surely challenged.
In the reading of the second letter from St Paul to Timothy (2 Tim 3:10-17), St Paul praises Timothy because he has ‘closely followed my teaching’. St Paul continues to encourage Timothy in learning the Scripture because ‘it is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, refuting error, for correcting and training in Christian life.’ St Paul finally adds, ‘Through Scripture the man of God is made expert and thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ One wonders did Timothy hear these words gladly.
SEEK GOD’S LOVE IN THE GROW IN LOVE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMME
The children are introduced to Jesus as a teacher from their earliest years in school. They learn that Jesus was born into the Jewish faith, that he lived with his family, prayed, heard and read stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and that he worshipped in the synagogue. They also hear that he celebrated Jewish festivals and feasts. They hear that Jesus’ teachings are written down in the Bible and Jesus continues to teach us every day. Some people believed in Jesus and some did not believe in him. In first-century Palestine a teacher who taught in the synagogue was called a Rabbi.
The first time Jesus spoke publicly to the people was when he read the words from the Book of Isaiah (Lk 4:18-19). Jesus reveals himself as the anointed one, the Christ, the promised Messiah for whom people have been waiting. This is the one of whom John the Baptist foretold. This passage (Lk 4:18-19) tells what Jesus is about, his mission. He announces himself as a teacher and a healer.
As a teacher, Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the Kingdom of God. When children are introduced to the Kingdom of God, they are taught that this is not a specific location or related to a physical place. It refers to the type of world that God’s people shape when they live according to the values Jesus taught. The Kingdom of God is a reality in our world when God’s people live together in a community of justice, peace and love. God’s people invite the help of the Holy Spirit to discern good choices.
Through the various class levels, children are introduced to many of the parables. A parable is a simple, easy-to-understand story that is used to teach something important. Jesus often told parables to teach people about the Kingdom of God.
Jesus taught his followers how to pray the Our Father. He taught them also; about love; about faith; about hope; about discipleship; about God his Father; about his mother, brothers and sisters; about inclusion; about serving; about being good stewards of God’s creation; about love of neighbour; about attitudes; about forgiveness; the importance of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in their lives; about God’s love for children; about the joy of eternal life; about sending the Holy Spirit to help them; and about his promise to be with them until the end of time.
Resources are accessible including the Children’s e-book and accompanying resources to explore Jesus’ life as teacher, on the VERITAS website:
READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:
‘The Great Commandment’ (Lk 10:27); ‘The New Commandment’ (Jn 13:34); ‘The Golden Rule’ (Lk 6:31), ‘The Beatitudes’ (Mt 5:1-12), ‘The Parable of the Mustard Seed’ (Lk 13;18-19), ‘The parable of the Good Samaritan’ (Lk 10:25-37), ‘The Lost Coin’ ( Lk 15:8-10), ‘The Parable of the Widow and the Judge’ (Lk 18:1-8), ‘The parable of the Yeast’ (Mt13:33), ‘The Parable of the Hidden Treasure’ (Mt 13:44), ‘The Parable of the pearl’ (Mt 13:45-46).
SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
‘Trust in the Lord (Psalm 37)’, ‘Parable Song’, ‘The Great Commandment’, ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Parish Anthem’, ‘Magnificat’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’, ‘The Beatitudes’,’ Care for the Earth’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.
PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
CARE FOR THE EARTH
God our Creator, you have given us
the earth, and the sky and the seas.
Show us how to care for the earth, not
just for today but for ages to come.
Let no plan or work of ours damage
or destroy the beauty of your creation.
Send forth your Spirit to direct us to
care for the earth and all creation. Amen.
CÚRAM DON DOMHAN
A Dhia ár gCruthaitheoir, thug tú an
talamh, an spéir agus na farraigí dúinn.
Taispeáin dúinn conas aire a thabhairt
don domhan, ní hamháin don lá atá inniu ann,
ach do na haoiseanna atá
le teacht freisin.
Ná milleadh aon phlean ná obair
againne áilleacht do chruthithe.
Seol do Spioraid chugainn chun
cabhrú linn aire a thabhairt don
domhan agus don chruthú ar fad.
‘Lovers of your law have found great peace; nothing can make them stumble; not even distress.’(Psalm 118:165)
‘The Lord has visited his people, he has come to redeem them.’(Benedictus antiphon)
‘The Lord has come to help us, his servants; he has remembered his mercy.’ (Magnificat antiphon)
‘Environmental education should facilitate making the leap towards the transcendent…. It needs educators capable of developing an ethics of ecology, and helping people, through effective pedagogy, to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.’(Laudato Si’, no. 210)
St Boniface, pray for us.
Sr Anne Neylon