Reflection for Tuesday, February 25, 2003: 7th week in Ordinary Time.

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O'Reilly, Daniel Patrick
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What a world we live in. I laughed as I watched people duct taping their windows on the news. When my wife came home from grocery shopping I hurried her over to the TV to see these people. She gave me a dirty look and said she would have brought home duct tape, but the store was out. Pass the humble pie, please. War seems imminent, military build ups, weapons of mass-destruction in the hands of ruthless dictators, terrorists with dirty bombs. Why it's enough to make one duct tape themselves in their home. However, rather than do that, I would recommend reading today's scriptures. These readings are full of words of encouragement.||In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus explains to the disciples his impending death and resurrection. The disciples have no clue what he is talking about and they're afraid to ask questions. As they continue on their way, the disciples, instead of asking each other about Jesus' words, are arguing about who is the greatest. What encourages me here is that Christ can use these yahoos to spread the good news and do his will. If the disciples can do it, I'm convinced that even I can do God's will. Then comes the scene where Christ places the child in the midst of the disciples and wraps his arms around the child. It always melts my heart to see Christ's love for children. It reassures me of Christ's love for me, for my children and for their children to come.|The writer of Sirach and the Psalmist stress "trust in the Lord." We should seek the Lord for he is our protector and our refuge. Easy for them to say. They didn't have anthrax in the mail or terrorists with chemical or nuclear weapons. Or did they? I read a great article recently titled, "Faith Tested by Fire Perseveres" by Tom Schaefer of the Wichita Eagle. Mr. Schaefer examines the life and writings of C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis was an atheist who became a Christian. Mr. Lewis was wounded in World War I, lived in England during World War II and lived on into the Cold War. He saw war, weapons of mass destruction and a world in chaos first hand. And what did he say? Mr. Lewis writes, "It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristles with such chances and in which death itself is not a chance, but a certainty. Let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (any microbe can do that), but they need not dominate our minds." Wonderful words of wisdom from a man with a heart for God.|It is hard not to be afraid in today's world. Over and over in scripture, we are told to trust in the Lord and to not be afraid. Easier said than done. Perhaps we simply need to look at Christ, God's ultimate display of love for us. My prayer would be that we would all recognize and feel God's love for us. If we can do this, it will be easier to place our trust in God, to feel at peace, to reassure our fellow man and to follow God's will.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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