December 8, 2017
In his meditation on the Second Sunday of Advent, St. John Baptist de La Salle speaks very highly of John the Baptist for his role in preparing the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. St. La Salle reminds us that we, like John the Baptist, are “angels sent by God to prepare a path for him, so that he can enter [our] hearts and the hearts of [our] disciples.” While he is speaking directly to his teachers and reminding them of their role in the faith formation of their students, his words speak to all of us, teachers and parents, reminding us of the role we all play in preparing the path for Christ to enter the hearts of our students and children. In order to accomplish this, St. La Salle, says we must become like the angels themselves and concern ourselves not with the visible but with the invisible, not with our earthly needs, but with our spiritual needs.
As is always his way, he reminds his teachers that in order for them to be effective communicators of the message of preparation, they must first prepare themselves by disposing their own hearts to be entirely filled with zeal. Finally, St. La Salle provides us with some guidance in this regard by reminding us of some of the suggestions that John the Baptist himself presents to us through his own preaching: 1.) despise sin, 2.) fear the Last Judgment and the account of your life you will have to give, 3.) perform penance for your sins, 4.) perform good deeds to reconcile for your sins, 5.) do not be satisfied with good deeds of the past but instead work each day to perform new ones.
As we work each day to fill the hearts of our children with love for Christ, let us remember the all-important role we each play. Let us remember that it is the greatest of all tasks that God asks us to fulfill—that of preparing hearts for eternal salvation. As Christian parents and educators, this is not a role we should take lightly, and in fact we are blessed to be given such an important task assigned directly to us by Jesus Christ himself. As St. La Salle says frequently, let us work together with an earnest zeal to accomplish what God wants of us as we prepare during this Advent season for the gift of Christ. Have a great weekend and stay warm!