Teacher. Mentor. Healthworker.

Jonathan and Jane go to Saint Clare School where Fr. George Aranha is pastor. I love going with them to their school community mass because I love hearing the homilies of Fr. George. I always pick up morsels of wisdom I could take home. One time he told the story of a man going to Confession. The man was obviously in pain, burdened by some great problems, sullen looking, shoulders stooped like he was carrying the weight of the world on his back. After a few minutes inside the confessional, the same man comes out his eyes red with tears but now with a joyful glow on his face, head held up high, a bounce on his gait and a certain lightness in his spirit that was palpable. A psychiatrist-friend of the priest in the confessional later remarked: “I could never do in many hours of therapy what you are able to do in the confessional in a few minutes.”

Teaching . . . proclaiming . . . curing . . . This is what Jesus did when he walked on earth. This is what the Church, his followers and disciples, have been doing through the centuries. BC, there were no real schools; education was the exclusive right of royalty and the rich. AD, the Church started the education of the masses and laid the foundations of what eventually would become free public education in most countries today. BC, people lived their lives dictated by the edicts of kings and emperors. AD, people would take responsibility for their lives with guidance and inspiration provided by the Church through homilies, letters, retreats. BC, sick people did not have anywhere to go to; physicians were hard to come by and usually reserved only for the rich and royalty. Lepers were outcasts and lived outside the city gates. AD, the Church took special care of the sick, the destitute and the dying and started what would become modern day health systems and social services networks.

Today, Catholics and Christians are still in the forefront of the teaching ministry. In the US alone, the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students at the cost of ten billion dollars to parents and parishes. If there were no Catholic schools, it would cost American taxpayers eighteen billion dollars of their tax money to provide room for these children in public schools. In the field of higher learning, the Catholic Church has more than 230 colleges and universities, some of them nationally rated, with an enrollment of seven hundred thousand students. In the Philippines, Catholic education plays an even bigger and more vital role.

In terms of health care, the Catholic Church has a nonprofit hospital system comprising 637 hospitals, which treat one in five patients in the US every day.

I have been blessed to have participated in the Church’s work of teaching, proclaiming and healing. Thank you, Lord.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’
Matthew 9:32-38

This entry was posted in Discipleship, Human Rights and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Teacher. Mentor. Healthworker.

  1. I got my numbers from Matthew Kelly, in his book “Rediscover Catholicism”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *