Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.
Educating In Faith
by Theresa Lueke
In an unexpected twist, I find myself back in the position of being a homeroom teacher again this year. This past week, I spent a gorgeous day at Tower Grove Park with my 5th graders, learning about food chains and dissecting owl pellets to discover what owls eat. Whether they were grossed out or totally immersed, they were all fully engaged in the act of learning. Watching understanding unfold before my eyes draws me back into the classroom over and over again.
The work of being a teacher is filled with so many joys. Silly jokes and giggles of children, exclamations of “Oh! Now I see!” and the roller coaster of pre-teen emotions now color the moments of my day, but let’s be honest – children are hard. For every emotional high, there is a low, for every “a-ha!” there are cries of frustration, and for every giggle there is a squabble (that – to my adult eyes – is not worth the effort). What a 10 year-old considers “exploring the horizon,” seems a lot like boundary testing to me. Some days can feel very long, and so it is with no small amount of glee that I sit up and pay close attention when Jesus puts on his teacher hat.
Imagine the scene – a teacher surrounded by students pushing back on their prior learning about the things that they should NOT do. The whole group of them searching for the loophole that is going to get them out of doing what they know they are supposed to be doing. Every teacher (and parent) has experienced this. A good teacher knows how to redirect and get them back on track… but Jesus is a great teacher and employs a master move: state the rule in the positive. He isn’t there to discuss what we shouldn’t do, but what we should do. With two sentences, Jesus pushes us beyond the old limitations of the 10 commandments and orders us to explore new horizons. What Jesus calls us to do is very simple. The rule is not complicated enough to have a loophole. He tells us quite clearly that not sinning is not good enough – we must love. End of argument.