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MATER ET MAGISTRA The Role of Teachers: Mother and Teacher (Jn.

19: 25-27) Standing close to Jesus cross were his Mother, his mothers sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, He is your son. Then he said to the disciple, She is your mother. From that time the disciple took her to live in his home. We have two sides of reflection this morning: one is the theological message and the other is the practical interpretation of the message of the Gospel into our lives. Let us first reflect on the biblical message. Our Gospel reading for today is no less than a scene at the Mountain of Calvary, where Jesus spent His last day before Resurrection. The scene tells us that Jesus entrusted His mother Mary to his beloved disciple in the person of John the Apostle, and vice versa. At the outset, we could see this biblical panorama as only one of the many external occurrences which happened in the entire narration of the Bible. If that is our thinking, we might be wrong. What is the reason of Jesus in entrusting Mary to His beloved brother? As we have just heard, from that moment of commitment, John the Beloved took Mary, the mother of Jesus to live in his home as her own mother. St. John is the representation of the entire humanity when Jesus committed him to Mary and Mary to John. It is as if Jesus told the whole world: Mary is your mother too! Have her in your hearts! That moment, Jesus gave us His very own flesh, His very own bones, His very own heart, His very own Mother, Mary, to be our mother too! Is this not a reason for us to rejoice? The commitment made by Jesus simply tells us that we are His brother or sister too as we share the same mother. And as brothers or sisters of Jesus, we could always turn to Him to share with Him our daily worries and anxieties, the problems which seem to the endless, our accomplishments and failures, joys and heartaches, laughter and tears. He is our brother and as such, His ears are always ready to listen, His shoulders are always ready for us to lean on, and His hands are all set to embrace us with love. When time comes that we feel the world is turning against us, let us remember that Jesus, our brother is always ready to catch us and care for us. The practical exemplification is also at hand. From the word itself, as teachers, they have to teachthat is the nature of that noble profession. But the other duty, that is, to be a mother or father, is inseparable, inherent and intertwined with their profession. Both at the same time and at all times, teachers need to be mater et magistramother and teacher. Every day in school, they perform their duties and responsibilities with much vigor and dedication. In seeing their students athirst for knowledge, they are always reminded to impart it with wisdom and perseverance. But not only that. They as

teachers are duty-bound to mold their students to become better persons and citizens of the country. As teachers, not only the parents of their students but Jesus Himself entrusted the care of those youth to the teacher's hands. They are in the best position to mold the youth to become better persons, say Christ-like persons. They should do their best to inculcate in them the fear of God on one hand, and patriotism and nationalism on the other. They could only do that if they will set themselves as living examples to emulate. If they let their students go astray without barely doing anything, that is the greatest disservice to God. They must always keep in mind that at the twilight of their lives, they will only be judged by the Almighty Creator if they have formed a student to an another Christ. That must be the goal of every school teacher, to form another Christ. And they could only do that if they would be a living and effective mater et magistramothers or fathers and teachers who are Christ-like to their students. And if they have successfully made it well, they can live in their respective reserved rooms in heaven with Jesus, forever.