"The Church opened schools, welcomed the whole society'' by Patriarch Michel Sabbah

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Sunday 21.7.2019

“Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness” (Mt 9: 35).

What did Jesus Christ do? You have to do like he did. Jesus taught others, you have to teach like Him. Every believer in Jesus Christ must know what Jesus Christ taught us. First he taught us who God is since Jesus Christ himself is the Word of God, as stated in the Gospel of Saint John: “In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God” (Jn1: 1). Saint John also said: “No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known” (Jn 1: 18).

What did Jesus tell us about God? He told us that God is one and Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He told us God is our Father, merciful, and just judge He taught us to pray: "Our Father who art in heaven..." He taught us many other things which we can know if we read and meditate on the Gospel.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Then imitate Him and do what He did. Jesus taught. You, learn in order to teach as he taught.

Who teaches and how do we teach? Tomorrow, we'll see who teaches and how we do teach.

Monday, July 22, 2019

How do we learn?

How do we know what Jesus Christ taught? The ways of learning are many: you can read about religion in easy books or more in depth, each according to one's ability. You can listen to the sermon on Sunday; you can study in theological institutes. The simplest way is to read the Holy Gospel and reflect on what you read. When you get educated about who Jesus Christ is, you can teach others and tell others who Jesus is.

How do you teach? By what you say and what you do. In religious life, the best way is the witness of life. Make your life a good example, as Jesus says:
“Your light must shine in people's sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in Heaven” (Mt 5: 16). In this way, every believer, every Christian must teach through one's life and good example. To live according to what Jesus Christ has taught, to love all people without discrimination, to know how to forgive, to look for your brother and sister in need; this is all a teaching you can do.

Pope Paul VI said: Our world today needs more witnesses than teachers. That is right. Teaching by speech and writing is needed but witnessing through your life to the Gospel and to the teaching of Jesus is also the duty of every Christian.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Who teaches?

The church teaches, so do the parish; the parish priest and the school teach. However, and in particular, it is the house and the family that teach. The father and mother are the first teachers; they teach what they read in the Holy Gospel.

Father and mother teach the commandment of love, the love of all, that everyone is God's creation so that they do not allow the seeds of discrimination, sectarianism, rejection and conflict to be planted in the hearts of their children. They teach the love that makes strong and great. They raise loving and powerful sons and daughters, neither weak nor afraid not allowing anyone to offend them. They love everyone and are able to stop all aggression and injustice no matter where it comes from. They love everyone and see God's face in everyone without sectarian barriers. Teaching universal love and resistance to all sectarianism, they lay a necessary cornerstone in building a good society that is not plagued by conflict between brothers.

Who teaches? The family teaches. It calls on the school to teach, educate and mold children as true human beings who believe in God and they love all people; they are strong and friendly to all people, able to stop every aggression and injustice, and are loyal to all their brothers, sisters and to the whole country.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Who teaches? The school teaches.

The Christian school is open to citizens of all faiths so are public schools.

The school’s fundamental mission is to teach and educate. It teaches different sciences and raises an all-encompassing human education. The first basis of human education is that a student knows that of being the first human being like everyone. God created one like every human being, as every classmate or schoolmate of every religion: we all are a human being and all people are equal.

The second basis for education is that we all belong to one people and one homeland, even in a situation of war, as in the Palestinian and Israeli situation. Every human being belongs to one's people, to one's country and must be loyal to it. In peace and war, the student must be taught how to define the positions towards one's people: Be faithful to your people especially in difficult circumstances of war. Do not let down your brothers or sisters and do not abandon people in any way. At the same time, during a war, don't forget that all people, your people and the other people, everyone is God's creation, equal before God. Work and fight when necessary for equality and justice for your people and for all.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Who teaches? The school teaches and educates.

The first foundation of education is that we are all human beings. You and all your colleagues are all equally human beings and God's children.

The second basis is that you belong to a people and a nation. In case of conflict or war with another people, the first basic principle remains that we are all human beings and God's children.

The third basis of education is religion. Our religions are different. Everyone is brought up according to one's religion. But all students of different faiths are brought up according to this principle that the essence of all religions, is to worship God and love all God’s children, not only those of my religion. As true human beings, we welcome kindly and lovingly every human being without any discrimination because it is God’s will

On this basis, one is taught to resist the various sectarian tensions that suffocate our small or large societies, and create a society in which there is more fraternity, cooperation for the well-being of all.

Therefore, the school itself and its supervisors, whether in a Christian or public school, must have this awareness that it is the duty of the school to create a new generation, a new Arab human society believing in man and God in a new fraternal way. The school's mission is not limited to provide education and distribute school certificates. It must help every student to be a new human being capable of loving all people, establishing equality, justice and fraternity in the society.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Who teaches? The Christian school teaches.

A Christian school, like the public school, provides education according to the curriculum imposed by the ministry of education. It nurtures universal human and national education. It provides also the necessary religious education to its students. It is also aware that its success is not only in the distribution of school certificates and the achievement of scientific prestige. Its mission is to educate the ‘human being’ in all its students. It also carries a special mission which is to give a Christian education to its Christian students.

The Christian school has been in our country since the 19th century. Some schools of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land date back to the 16th century or earlier. Church schools existed long before the state schools to achieve its general goal of instruction and education. It welcomed all people without discrimination. It also had a special goal to provide Christian education to its Christian students.

It is the commandment of love that has led the Church everywhere and in the Holy Land to open hospitals and orphanages, and to be concerned with people's pain and needs. It is the same commandment that led the Church to open schools where it welcomed the whole society and contributed to its development. Even when the state began to organize itself and fulfill its various responsibilities and services towards society, the Church did not cease to offer its contribution to the building of society through its diverse institutions.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Church in our country has continued to contribute to the building of society with its many schools and institutions, yesterday, before the state, and today, with the state. Why does the Church continue to contribute to the building of society?

The first reason is always the commandment of love which drives the Church to meet people's needs. Prayers in the church are completed by its services to the society in various fields. Charity and services are an integral part of the Church’s prayer. Full worship is prayer before God and attention and love of all God's creation. Opening schools is a manifestation of this universal love.

The second reason is to help parents exercise their right to raise their children wherever they want and according to the values upon which they grew up and want their children to grow up. Of course, the school must adhere to the general foundations of the formation of a good human being and a good citizen. To that it adds Christian religious education to its Christian students.
Our schools have grown, developed and reached a high level of education. Today, after their long history, service and love for hundreds of years, it is time for our schools to stop, reflect and evaluate where they are from their original goals.

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