School is out for the summer, but learning isn’t just for children. It’s a life-long endeavor. And when it comes to learning about our faith it is important to know facts, history, teachings, and doctrines. But it is also necessary to look to Christ as our teacher, and see what his life can teach us about who we are and how we should live.
“What it reminds us is that Christ’s entire life is instructive,” he said. “And that we who dare to take the name Christian, in other words who are striving to be ‘other Christs’ in the world, should allow our lives to reflect the glory, the grandeur, and the grace of Christ.”
Paragraph 561 of the Catechism says:
“The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching: his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor, his acceptance of the total sacrifice on the Cross for the redemption of the world, and his Resurrection are the actualization of his word and the fulfillment of Revelation” John Paul II, CT 9).
“It’s such a powerful paragraph in my mind,” Msgr. Swetland shared. “To remind us that the whole of the Lord’s life, even the hidden life with Mary and Joseph in Nazareth, all of it is instructive to us. It teaches us how to live and how to love.”
“And while we don’t have to imitate him in every way (obviously we don’t have to become first century Palestinian Jews to be a Christian), we are to take the virtues, the values, the approach, the attitude, and the relationship with our Father, and bring that into our life.”
Having Christ as our teacher means there is constantly more to learn, more ways we can grow, and new ways we can understand God, ourselves, and our relationships.
But the goal of learning from Christ as our teacher is not just knowledge as an end, as Msgr. Swetland pointed out, saying, “Hopefully our lives become like Christ in many ways, and can therefore be light unto the world, and be in that way instructive of what it means to live well and to love properly.”