Daily Reflection
February 19th, 2000
Tamora Whitney
English Department
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James 3:1-10
Psalms 12:2-5, 7-8
Mark 9:2-13

“Not many of you should become teachers…; you should realize that those of us who do so will be called to the stricter account.”

I am a teacher.  I sometimes teach those who will become teachers.  I’ve been a teacher fifteen years now, and I always try to remember how important this job is, and to be aware that I will be called to the stricter account.  Teaching is a huge responsibility.  The words that come from my mouth have an affect on a lot of people, and those words need to be correct and appropriate.  Like the reading says, the same mouth that praises the Lord can curse others.

I am, I guess, the voice of authority in my classroom and my words hold a lot of weight, so I need to be sure of my voice.  My students believe what I say, so I need to say true things.  Because I teach at a school with a Catholic mission, it’s appropriate that my words fulfill that mission. 

I think in this passage Jesus was talking about those who specifically teach the faith and the clergy, but his words ring true to all who teach anything.  Whatever we teach others we need to be mindful of that responsibility and be aware that we give correct information. 

He says not many of you should become teachers, but the truth of the matter is that we are all teachers.  Those who teach with the authority of the church need to be especially mindful of their words, but I, who teach literature with the authority of the university, must also be mindful of my words.  My students know I’m Catholic and I have to be mindful of what I say in the classroom in regards to the Church.  The Ex Corde Ecclesiae recommending an increase in Catholic educators in Catholic institutions is saying this same thing.  By having Catholic teachers in Catholic classrooms, the implication is that more is being taught than just the subject matter:  faith is also being taught all the time.  This is a huge responsibility. 

At a larger level, all Christians are also teachers of the faith, and we all must be mindful of that responsibility.  The mouth that is capable of cursing others, can also be used to praise the Lord.  How will we use our words with all their power.  We have a responsibility for what we say and do.  We are all teachers, and we will be held to that stricter account.

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