What makes a true teacher

BY SISTER HILDEGARD RYAN OSB

Sunday, May 13th, 2012, is the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B.

Lectio:  Read the Gospel text from John 15:9-17.   Read it slowly and reflectively, and maybe a second time.  Try to read aloud rather than with the mind.  Listen to the text as you read. Stand back from it and ponder. Read it a second time, and maybe a third time.

Meditatio:  Some background to help us understand the text and respond to it.

In the previous story, 15:1-8 (5th Sunday of Easter), Jesus revealed to the disciples their relationship with him: vine and branches.  Now Jesus moves on in 15:9-17 to teach the foundation of the way they must function in order to live in unity.  The foundation is love of one another.

When the disciples (and all Christians) love one another, they are taken up and enveloped into the life of a God of love. They live in God, Their joy is complete. They bear fruit that will last. Read the Gospel text again.

I share my response in Evangelizatio No. 1.

EVANGELIZATIO:  My lived response to the texts with which the Church exhorts me to pray.  St. James says “Be doers of the Word.”  And the Book of Deuteronomy tells us that the Word of God is in our hands to do it. 

St Clement of Alexandria, who died before 215 A.D. is recognised as the first Christian Scholar.  He had an expert knowledge of the Scriptures.  He was also a knowledgeable about society and cultural trends of the time. 

In his work, Miscellaneous Studies, he refers to a line from John 15.  He says the faithful Teacher reflects the true magnificence of the Word in such a way that others understand that the benefits they receive from it, derive from the Lord.” 

He also says that true teachers know that they serve their neighbours by the likeness of their own lives to their own message…being friends of God, they bear witness by their life to the truth of their words.” 

It occurs to me that we are all teachers at some point in our lives:  parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, foster-parents.  May we remain united with Jesus, friends of Jesus who keep the words of the Gospel alive, disciples who bear the fruits of love.  Amen.

LECTIO DVINA IS ABOUT READING THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, REFLECTING ON THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, FROM AN INFORMED BACKGROUND.  IT IS ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PLAY ON THE FIBRES OF MY HEART, LIKE A HARPIST, AND BRING FORTH THE BEAUTY OF MY RESPONSE.  IN RESPONDING TO THE TEXT, MY LIFE IS CHANGED MORE AND MORE INTO CHRIST.

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