In all centres of learning be they schools, tertiary institutions and the like, there comes a time when the students reach the end of their studies and are examined for what they have learned throughout their course or school year. During this time of preparation, the blessing of the Priest before exams and the life that is to follow is highly desirable. We call on God to assist us in every endeavour for the life that is ahead of us.
The real value of learning is the application of the acquired knowledge that has been attained. This is important firstly to one self, in respect to acquiring the necessary skills and experience, and then the application of these experiences and skills in real life to support oneself and one’s family when the time comes to do so. The purpose and application of these skills acquired also supports the community, whether it be through a trade, profession, business endeavour or field of social service.
It cannot be said as some people suggest that one profession, or trade, or field of endeavour is better than another. The value of the effort lies not in how much money we make but in how well we apply ourselves to the job or task at hand. In any field, we all know that there are both good and bad practitioners, good and bad tradesmen, and good and bad proprietors.
What does make a difference is the commitment to the job and in serving others fairly, justly and honestly.
And if we treat and serve others fairly and honestly then we will also have a commitment to serving with love, with kindness and with respect. If we do this, then we can be sure that we are also serving God.
And if we want to apply the knowledge we have attained, correctly, we will not forget that this knowledge is made up of more than mere facts and figures we have learned at school or university.
The knowledge we have attained cannot be confined to scholastic domains, but it has a broad application in our life; and in this regard, we are reminded by the Church that central to all learning is the knowledge of God; because God is the fountain of all wisdom and of all learning.
We know for instance that through the Holy Spirit, the uneducated fishermen became preachers of the Holy Gospel, teachers and Apostles in the world. The knowledge of Truth can offer those accepting of it with faith, the ability to apply knowledge in a far superior way than someone who has no belief in God. This is because God offers us the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of understanding. Such wisdom and understanding is found through Christ and His Church, which has the power to illumine the eye of our inner being, our heart and our soul, so that we can come to understand God’s will in our own lives; without which our lives would remain aimless, without direction and without focus.
By responding to God’s knowledge and wisdom, we are promised to become children of light, bearing fruit from every good undertaking throughout our lives, that we may grow through divine wisdom and enlightenment, which can only come from above.
This learning and wisdom of God acknowledges our true identity and potential as true children of God, which no other form of learning can hope to acquire. The power of combining the learning we have acquired at school with God’s Wisdom and truth cannot be matched, as it teaches us to live as well as how to prepare ourselves for the promised heavenly kingdom.
To conclude we must be reminded of our obligation to thank God always for the opportunities afforded to us in our lives, through our prayers, through our work and our studies, through the help and support of our teachers, our families, our loved ones, and by the way we apply God’s truth and wisdom in our life by serving Him and His people. This means that Christ and His Church should be the single, central, and most important aspect and application of our lives, always.
Fr Emmanuel Stamatiou