Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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A dear friend of mine and former Theology teacher, Jim Skerl, shared a beautiful insight into what Jesuit Catholic schools do: “Education does not exist to make you better than others; it exists to make you better for others.” His eloquent turn of phrase, hinging on the difference between two commonplace adjectives, cuts to the heart of our mission at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Milwaukee.
It echoes the strident call by Jesus in today’s gospel from Matthew. While journeying to Jerusalem with his 12 Apostles, He reminds them that it is not enough for them to focus on their own holiness: to be a leader is to be a “servant.” One can only be “great” if one humbles herself or himself to be as lowly as a “slave.”
These demanding words are difficult to swallow in 2019—let alone at a rigorous college-prep high school where dreams to be fulfilled decades in the future depend on urgent self-improvement. Yet, this programme is not at odds with what Christ asks of his closest companions. In fact, if properly prioritized, it gives it the necessary fuel for those far-flung hopes to become arms-length possibilities.
So, as you grow into the understanding of what type of leader you are called to be, remember that all your learning will have great meaning as you share it with others.
Joseph Sheehan, Theology Teacher