Education Matters: Talking to Our Secondary Students about Faith
Topic One: Is There Anyone Out There?
By Dr Gerard Gaskin, Executive Director of Catholic Education Tasmania
Today, we look at four of the most compelling questions our secondary students ask.
Is there a God?
Written into everyone’s heart is a desire to see God and to live in perfect happiness with Him. This has been true of civilisations ancient and new. Every human culture has sought answers to the big questions about human existence: “Why am I here?” and, “Am I a part of something bigger than myself?” It seems that every human person is hard-wired to seek truth and happiness – things that lie beyond mere earthly experience.
The answer has always been the same. Every culture has been aware of something supernatural, of an existence that transcends time and space. But the ancient civilisations had only one source of truth. They had a sense of the infinite mystery of God because He was faintly reflected everywhere they looked. All of Creation, the human person and the natural world around them revealed God – but only dimly. Even so, many cultures could already see with certainty by natural reason that God made the world and us. We only needed His Word to confirm what many people already believed to be true.
Then, the world changed – literally overnight. God sent His light to the world in the form of a baby. God became man.
That moment in history leads us to four indisputable facts that have immense significance:
- Jesus Christ truly existed in history;
- He claimed to be God and He spoke for God;
- We have a faithful record of His life and teaching that is as reliable as any record in history, and
- His message is pure love.
If He is Real … What is He Like?
We only need to look at Jesus to see what God is like. What did Jesus say about Himself? He said God is a Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit – truly God, undivided; God is everywhere; God is perfect; God is all knowing; God is all-powerful; God is holy; God made the universe and everything in it; God loves all of us. God is beautiful; God is true; God made us so that we can share in His life and one day be with him in heaven. We know this to be true description of God because God the Son told us so – Himself!
OK then, so … does He have a Plan for Me?
The plan is breathtakingly simple. God made me for Himself. Not only that, He made me in His own image – to be like Him. He gave me a share in His dignity and wants with all His heart for me to be happy in this life and in the next. You don’t have to believe me. Just open any page of the Gospels. There you will find Jesus living and teaching God’s loving plan for you and me.
How can I get to Know Him Better?
The answer is already waiting for you. Pick up the Bible. Read just one page of the Gospel each day – every day. Give Jesus Christ the chance to speak to you in person. You will love the conversation.