Prayer from Bishop Donal McKeown
Good morning. I spent 23 years as a school teacher and principal. It is an often stressful job - but it is also a privilege. Young people are fascinating as they grow and dare, ask and struggle.
Life in modern competitive society requires qualifications and technical know-how. A good education seeks to promote the whole person. In the words of Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor it will help the young person to develop means by which to live and a meaning for which to live. Teachers know that they don't teach subjects. They teach pupils. They seek to nourish fragile buds of great potential beauty. They aim, not merely to measure how smart the children are according to some external standards. They want the children to see how they are smart. In the spirit of the Olympics and the Para-Olympics, they believe that greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or exam grades. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and courage.
For Christians, the birth of Jesus marks the irruption of generous hope into the corners of life where too many people labour in uncertainty and distress. He came to witness to the power of truth and to the meaningfulness of human life in all its imperfection. He taught about a God who always remains faithful.
This morning I pray ancient prophetic words about the one who accepted the title of 'Teacher'.
O wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High.
You fill the universe and hold all things in a strong yet gentle manner.
O come to teach us the way of truth.