As a teacher I was always nervous when the principal came to observe my classroom. My fears would typically subside, though, as the students participated more than usual.
This past spring’s observation threw me for a loop. The students were chomping at the bit to speak—speaking over each other; using the material to make jokes. As the lesson progressed I thought, “What are these kids doing? They need to take it down a notch. What is the principal going to think?” When I later encountered the principal, I couldn’t resist asking her thoughts about the class. She responded, “It’s clear your students are excited for your class with many interested in participating and speaking out.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus does not tell his disciples to put on a good show because the master has walked in the door. Rather, he challenges us to live with excitement and enthusiasm—letting the master walk in on that.
—Brad Held, S.J., a Jesuit of the Wisconsin province, is currently a theology student at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He has just come from 3 years of teaching at Red Cloud Indian School on the Holy Rosary Jesuit Mission in Pine Ridge, SD.