For Fridays – Not!

In addition to teaching five classes a day, most public school teachers have duty periods. Some teachers monitor the cafeteria; others are asked to sign in tardy students. My duty is to guard a side entrance of the school during eighth period, the last of the day.

Friday afternoons, the mood in the high school visibly changes. Both students and teachers have more pep in their steps. Students, many of whom have felt cooped up all week in the high school, smile more. Teachers do too.

On a recent Friday as I sat at my duty station on a plastic chair behind a formica desk, a colleague walked by, gave a big sigh, and said “Thank God it’s Friday. But I feel like I am always wishing my time away.” She added, “I don’t like that.”

Indeed, anticipating Friday helps me to navigate through my long commutes and intense work and graduate school schedule. On one hand, this is natural, yes? The rhythm of work and leisure. Anyone else remember this Donna Summer song? This is what Fridays at workplaces can feel like:

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The trouble is, we run the risk of trudging through our work weeks, wishing them away, and waiting for weekends.Then, we figure, we can shut out the world, hunker down with our families, and really breathe.

And yet Christ’s presence challenges us to understand every breath is a gift and every moment an opportunity to encounter Him in our neighbors’ faces. The Church knows this. It celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day of the week – not just Sundays. The Liturgy of the Hours, ancient and powerful  prayers, can guide us through each day.

St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists, put it this way: “Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day, even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the bosom of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ.”

When Monday comes, I ‘m going to pray to seek the face of Christ, all week, in every encounter.

  • Sarah Harkins

    Amen! I think this should be the motto of every American Catholic- because aren't we all waiting for the weekend??? I too think that "living for the weekend" is just to shallow of an existence. Living for every minute of every day- now that's more like it!

  • Karen

    Middle school teacher here. It does help to look for the face of Christ in all of the other faces. Sometimes He is harder to see than others. What I have the biggest problem with, though, is finding Jesus in the paperwork. Wednesday I struggled in vain to make some progress on IEPs that need to be written. Thursday, I asked Jesus if He would mind working with me, and asked St. Michael to do something with the horrid program that we have to use. I am still amazed at how smoothly that went!Praise God in everything?

  • Frank

    Get busy living, or get busy dying —Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption. Living is 24 hours a day, not just on Friday evenings through Sunday evening. Nice reflection Allison!

  • Marnie

    I am also a teacher. I cherish every minute of every day with my students. The big difference might be that I teach 3 year-olds. It is impossible not to see our Lord in their faces. Yes, I am exhausted come Friday, but the little blessing the Lord gives me through my 25 little blessings make it worth it and they also remind me of the bigger blessing He has given me: my family and the possibility of sharing it all with Him on Sunday.Thanks Allison for the reminder!Pax Christi,Marnie

  • Allison

    So nice to hear from fellow teachers. Like Karen said, it is not a problem to see the face of Christ in my students. What is a challenge is my long commute, and the intense amount of paperwork and documentation required. It can be wearying. Blessings to all and thanks for stopping by and commenting!Allison