“What we have heard and know, and what our fathers have declared to us, we will declare to the generation to come the glorious deeds of the Lord and his strength.” Psalm 78
When you read this, we will be two days into a new semester at Creighton – a time when these words from Psalm 78 remind me of why I left my PR career to teach. But of course the psalmist is writing to parents and everyone who deals with young people in any capacity.
I love Jesuit education because its central notion is that we find God in all things. The Jesuit vision doesn’t wall God off in theology or religion classes or times of formal worship and prayer but should infuse everything we do. Whether you teach theology or chemistry or coach basketball, you have the same mission: to help your students see God at work in their daily lives. This is also what today’s readings are telling us.
In my public relations classes, I teach students how to promote the missions of their future employers, an essential professional skill, by discussing how Creighton promotes its Jesuit mission, in part by encouraging employees to live it. This is a wonderful way to bring God into a journalism classroom and to expose students to our Jesuit mission. I ask them to name people who exemplify the mission in their dealings with students – the members of the older generation that today’s psalm admonishes.
There’s a beautiful diversity of Creighton people whose deeds proclaim the truths we profess to students. High on all their lists is a cafeteria worker who called everyone “Baby” and showed showered God’s love on countless stressed-out freshmen. Then there’s a shuttle driver who has touched many lives. Of course faculty members also make these lists, mostly for the way they integrate spirituality into their teaching and lives. All of these people set an example of loving God and passing that love on to people.
So as this semester begins I hope all of us who deal with young people will remember that we are part of an age old chain instructing and inspiring them in the love of God. And for shy Midwesterners or Catholics who tend to low key expressions of faith, it’s comforting to know that our actions speak louder than our words.