Everyone looks forward to a high school reunion. Why? These are days of recalling childhood days, all the adventures and misadventures. Of course, how can we not talk about our teachers: the terror, the one who got mad and punished us, the one who cried and made us cry, the one who inspired us, the one we learned a lot from.
I remember a classmate of mine. He was the type who made it difficult for the teachers. Eventually, he had a family and three kids. One of the greatest challenges is teaching the children. Many times he got frustrated and his blood pressure went beyond normal. But before he could quit, he remembered his teachers, having to deal with not three, but 40 to 50 students. He realized the great, great, sacrifice of his teachers.
Today is the feast day of St. John Baptist de La Salle, the patron of teachers. Even Jesus during His time also taught people about the Kingdom of God. Three reflections about one of the most noble professions:
- The influence of the teachers is unending: Once I officiated a Mass for a batch celebrating their 50th anniversary out of H.S. They would recall their teachers, how they influenced their lives and how the lessons learned have been passed on from one generation to the next.
- A good teacher is a determined person. One generation ago, a child would keep quiet by simply giving him or her the dagger look. Now, give the child the dagger look and you would get the same response. Yet, despite the difficulty, it is all part of the teaching calling to continue to shape young minds. As they say, “Teaching is like a candle. It consumes itself to light the way for others.”
- The greatest teacher teaches us about life. While teachers come into our lives teaching us different subjects, the ones we remember the most are those who taught us about life. Often, it is not by words but by the lives they lived. In the Gospel, Jesus was teaching about God and He was saying, look not at my words but by the life I have been living.
In this Mass, we say a prayer of gratitude to all our teachers. The first in our lives were our parents. We remember all their generosity, kindness, sacrifices, sermons and punishments. I think the biggest consolation we can give our teachers is for us to have meaningful and happy lives.