Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As the new academic year begins, we might take a step back and ask: “what is the purpose of education?” I am sure there are many answers to be offered from different perspectives but all may converge on one: “to make a better life for oneself”. This, of course, is an admirable aspiration but does it really reflect the purpose of opening one’s mind to the truths that surround us, or, is it merely utilitarian? In other words: “do I learn in order to succeed? So much in life today is motivated by the desire to be recognized, to receive adulation for one’s accomplishments rather than the desire to serve. How then, does that form a person’s character? The answer may be found in the Scripture today from the Book of Sirach. His teachings for the young generation are simple and straightforward: be a humble person.
Frequently, though not always directly, Our Lord addresses the absence of humility either among His detractors or even His closest followers. There is always the tendency to put oneself first, as we hear in the Gospel parable. These parables are meant to draw us out of ourselves and see the bigger picture of our purpose in life. How we answer that question is the real mark of humility because we are basically saying:” Here I am Lord, do with me what you will”. We come around then to understand what education is all about. That is, I’m here to serve the Lord and follow whatever path He has destined for me.
To all of our students, May God show you the path to follow and be humble enough to use your learning for His glory and the building up of His Kingdom. You will never regret it.