Today’s Thoughts: In our Gospel today, we encounter Jesus as teacher and a moment in his journey of teaching. The task of a teacher is often a very difficult one, so was Jesus’ task as teacher. His students were his disciples, were mostly women and men long past their childhood. Most of them did not have much formal schooling. They were not ideal students and teaching them was not always easy. There was no classroom and there was none of our modern teaching equipment and technology. The teaching of Jesus was often done in the open air and subject to many distractions for the students. The teaching was often done, as in our story today, while the group traveled on foot. Such obstacles were frustrating for Jesus. He sometimes expressed his frustration with his disciples, especially with their slow progress of understanding, of believing.
On this journey through Galilee with his disciples, Jesus was a teacher. He explained the things that he wanted them to learn. For the second time he predicted his coming passion and death. Yet, once again his disciples didn’t understand what he meant, and they were afraid to ask any questions. They probably feared that any questions they might ask would reveal their failure to understand. And, of course, they did not want to be seen as ignorant by the other disciples. How little has changed over the centuries. How often have we had a teacher tell us: “If there is something you don’t understand, let me know.” And yet how often do we find that difficult because we fear to show our ignorance?
In spite of these difficulties, Jesus continued his teaching. Even with his disciples fearing to ask questions, he kept to his mission. Jesus had all the characteristics of a good teacher. He excelled in patience and kept repeating the most important lessons that he wanted his disciples to learn. He also made good use of parables and stories to explain the meaning of his teaching. Gradually the disciples came to learn and understand the important lessons that Jesus wanted to teach them.
Today Jesus is still teaching us through the words of the Gospel. The most important teachings of Jesus are repeated often in the Gospel readings at Mass. All of us are encouraged to familiarize ourselves with the teachings of Jesus through our own reading of the Gospel stories. Sometimes we refer to those who read the scriptures often as students of the bible. All of us can be students in this sense. The more we read about the teachings of Jesus, the better we will understand them. And as we come to a better understanding of Christ’s teachings, we will become, like the disciples, true followers, true believers, in other words faith filled friends of Jesus.
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...