Study from home: Our salvation, our formation and our work
My dear students, welcome to our academic year 2020-2021. Please share to your parents my gratitude for sending you to our School __________________. Also please join me to express our thanksgiving and appreciation for the services and sacrifices of our dedicated and devoted teaching and non-teaching personnel.
We are in this uncertain and unprecedented time of Covid-19 pandemic. This deadly and devastating Covid-19 has disrupted our daily schedules and forced us to do some radical changes in our daily lives. For the common good and as precautionary measures, we are asked to stay at home. To contain the spread of this Coronavirus, mass gathering is prohibited and we are ordered to keep distance of one meter apart. So, classroom teaching and physical presence in school are not allowed. Education is through online and modular.
As Catholic schools, we are allowed to open our academic year, beginning at your home. Thus, aside from the widespread work from home, we now also have adopted study from home. There are lessons that we have to reflect from this alternative of study from home. They are:
salvation starts at home
human formation begins at home
work is foremost part at home
First is that our salvation starts at home. The Blessed Virgin Mary received the greetings of Archangel Gabriel at home. God chose her to make possible His plan of redemption. He did not threaten nor forced her. God wanted her cooperation, her consent. The Blessed Virgin Mary willingly gave affirmative respond to God. She unconditionally said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).
The ‘yes’ of the Blessed Virgin Mary is her self-offering to God, opening her house and her heart to God. Because of that, she bore Jesus. Through her, Jesus was born. Mary’s ‘yes’ is the beginning of man’s salvation.
Salvation must begin in our home. It must be a source of salvation. Not only must one find safety and security in one’s house but must also find salvation. Thus, let us invite God to dwell in our homes. Let us open the door of our heart and our home to God.
Remember, Blessed Virgin Mary receives good news right where she was, at home; not in the streets or at any social gatherings. So stay at home and study. Stay at home, be safe, be saved. Don’t do anything which will bring dishonor to your home, to your parents.
Secondly, our human formation starts at home. Jesus lived and learned under the exemplary tutelage of Mary and Joseph. At home, Jesus experienced the tender and loving care of His parents and as a dutiful son, He obeyed his parents. He assisted them in their needs and in their old age. Saint Luke affirmed it in his gospel, “Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and he continued to be subject to them” (2:50).
Our home is our primary school. Our parents are our first and permanent teachers. We learned our first words, our first steps at home under the watchful eyes of our parents. So at home, be like Jesus who “increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52). Staying at home and be mature, responsible and obedient always to your parents.
Lastly, work is an important and integral part of home. At home, Jesus spent his thirty years working as a ‘carpenter’s son’ (Matthew 13:55). Jesus labored with His human hands. At home, Jesus was busy at works, never idle. .
Our Diocesan patron Saint Joseph is silent worker. Even if there are no spoken words recorded by the Evangelists emanating from the holy lips of Saint Joseph, his actions spoke clearly of his dedication to his works and his devotion to his family. Jesus surely accompanied him in his daily works, laboring diligently and learning the crafts of his father, and became known as “carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13,55)..
Have self-discipline. Develop a habit that will lead to self-improvement. After online classes, don’t be lazy. Help with the household chores. Avoid being unproductive. We must not be choosy about work or feel ashamed of it. Don’t spend your time at home with your gadgets or watching Netflix movies. Do not let your attention be corrupted by going to the websites that will just pollute your minds and spirit or will compromise your future.
Our current mode of learning can be difficult and challenging. Let our emphasis be directed on taking an active role in our education alongside our Catholic values. We must all get involved in nurturing a life of faith. It begins at home.
Indeed this Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to set aside our plans and projects. Coronavirus has definitely altered our common and daily activities, and make us stay at home. Home is our refuge against Coronavirus. Home is very essential, so necessary. Family is important. It is a blessing. We now study from home. It is also our frontline defense against ignorance, vaccine against slothfulness and stagnation.
Remember our dear students, study from home is our salvation, our formation and our work.
Bishop of Balanga
Chairman, CBCP Commission on Pontificio Collegio Filippino
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