I was reading some of Anthony de Mello’s work today. He was a great Jesuit priest and writer who died suddenly in the late 80’s. In the mid 90s Cardinal Ratzinger – Now Pope Benedict condemned de Mello’s writes as inconsistent with Catholic teaching. I love the guy! I go back and read his books from time to time. Many of his articles can also be found online.
I found this cute story in one of his articles today. He writes;
“Last year on Spanish television I heard a story about this gentleman who knocks on his son’s door.
"Jaime," he says, "wake up!" Jaime answers, "I don’t want to get up, Papa." The father shouts, "Get up, you have to go to school." Jaime says, "I don’t want to go to school." "Why not?" asks the father. "Three reasons," says Jaime. "First, because it’s so dull; second, the kids tease me; and third, I hate school." And the father says, "Well, I am going to give you three reasons why you must go to school. First, because it is your duty; second, because you are forty-five years old, and third, because you are the headmaster."
Wake up, wake up! You’ve grown up. You’re too big to be asleep. Wake up! Stop playing with your toys.”
I thought it an appropriate story with everyone returning to school tomorrow. I have been keeping in my prayers all students and teachers alike, all readying themselves for another busy school season. I thought about my other brother Darryl headed back to school this fall as a VP for the first time – Congratulations and good luck! It is easy to be proud of Darryl. Teachers and administrators in our schools are hardworking and caring people and we should be grateful for the many gifts they share with the kids. Many thanks to all the educators for all that you do.
In the meantime de Mello tells the story as a reminder that we all walk around asleep from time to time. We are getting to big to be asleep. Some days it is harder than others to get motivated to do what we need to so. That can be true of the very practical and mundane task of daily life, but is also true of the daunting task of being the people of the resurrection. We sometimes are tired and lethargic. We are often unable to get up to the challenges that being people of the covenant. We need to take heart and hearken to the voice of the one who calls us to Awake from our slumber and rise from our sleep. We need to be awake to build communities of love, justice and respect for all people – we need to build the city of God!