Reflection for April 13, 2007: Friday in the Octave of Easter.

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Furlong, Beth
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in the Octave of Easter Easter The Gospel Reading of today once again reminds us _ what does it take for each of us to recognize Christ? How many times do we have to be reminded? How many times do we, proverbially, have to be hit on the head to "get it" and to see Christ? It was not easy for the disciples. It is not easy for us. Let us each genuinely think and reflect on seeing Christ in others. Who did I miss yesterday? As I read this Reflection this morning and have an idea of what I have planned for the day, how am I reminded of the "many Christ's" I will see today? Matthew's Gospel (25:37-40) tells us in direct language - "Lord, when did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you? And, the King will answer, "I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."|The first reading, Acts 4:1-12, calls us to be witnesses, to have the moral courage to be such witnesses, and willing to endure the consequences. I think about a popular folk Christian song _ "They will know we are Christians by our love." Can I say that about myself? Do my daily behaviors reflect love? Do I witness Christian behaviors quietly or publically? At a recent forum at Creighton University where faculty and staff heard five faculty report on a national Jesuit conference they had attended, one staff employee certainly caused me to reflect. The concept being discussed was how do practice social justice. He noted that when individuals hear that message _ they think it always applies to the other person, but not to them. He raised a challenge _ if we truly want diverse students at Creighton University (which would include low income students), are we ready as employees to take a 10% reduction in our salary to make scholarship funds available? That could be one example of lived social justice on our part. I can mentally hear the counter-arguments, i.e., "but, I already tithe," etc. Are we willing to truly be in solidarity with the poor, "with the least of our brothers?" Or, only in solidarity when it fits in with our other plans? Many of us faculty and staff attended a forum this past week and were educated on the Jesuit discernment process that is occurring because of decreased numbers of Jesuits in the U.S. We were given a document, "A Meditation on our Response to the Call of Christ," written by the Jesuit Provincial Superiors. Two sentences especially struck me _ "Yet some of that [U.S.] faith is nominal and domesticated, often inclined to ignore the cross as it focuses on self-fulfillment and the protection of privilege...Yet this status [unequalled power of the U.S.] has not engendered a broader sense of solidarity with the rest of the world, but rather a pervading disregard for the realities and urgencies of the poor and disenfranchised."|Today's Readings have great challenges for us. Am I attentive to seeing Christ? Do I have the moral courage to witness? And, to pay the price of seeing Christ and of witnessing?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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