Reflection for Monday May 6, 2019: 3rd Week of Easter.
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Today we celebrate Monday in the third week of Easter. What a gift to have the benefit of celebrating, unpacking and living into the Easter season for fifty days!|Here in John's Gospel reading, the disciples search for Jesus and end up finding more than what they were looking for. Jesus gives the disciples an answer to their question that they didn't really know to expect. They come looking for him, and seeking to be filled by the loaves of bread from earlier. He names that they are craving not just food but the Bread of Life, true and lasting sustenance for the journey.|This invites us to ask ourselves some similar questions. What do I crave? What am I really seeking? Am I trying to be fulfilled by things that aren't lasting or satisfying? As I look back on my day, in conversation with God, what sustains me?|When St. Ignatius was recovering from his life-threatening cannonball injury, he spent months contemplating what he wanted to do with his life. He imagined chasing after worldly pleasures and the happiness he felt afterwards was fleeting. When he imagined giving his life in service to God and God's people, he felt sustained and lasting consolation. St. Ignatius figured out what really fulfilled him and acted on that.|I find myself, when I am in a good space craving things like learning (or reading) more about the spiritual life, faith and Scripture. I find myself drawn to reaching out to friends for spiritual conversations, even if they are friends I haven't spoken to in a while. I find myself setting aside my never ending to-do list to head to daily mass or to taking time to invite Christ into a sticky situation that I'm wrestling with, instead of trying to solve it on my own. I find myself drawn to go the extra mile to be generous, compassionate and loving. When I am in a good space, I find it easier to notice when I'm craving things that aren't so life giving but maybe will just give me temporary satisfaction. It reminds me of Pope Francis' line to be more, not to have more that I pass on a banner on campus as I walk into my office each morning.|At the end of this Gospel story, Jesus invites us not to just believe, but believe in. Then they said to him, 'What must we do to perform the works of God?' Jesus answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.' To me, this seems distinction of "believing in" means more than just a head or intellectual believing. It takes committing our whole selves, not just believing in our head, or not just believing when it's clear or easy. And, believing and activity go together. So, in order for us to "believe in him whom he has sent" we must seek out deep nourishment – the whole Christian call to discipleship…from the Eucharist, from scripture, from the experience of community (service, justice, communal worship, etc).|A theologian friend was sharing recently that resurrection, while certainly a miracle, is also really an experience of call. Resurrection equals call – us being called to live out our vocations as Christian disciples. As we continue to believe in, experience, learn and live into the Easter season, may we also make space to hear God's call for each of us as we live as followers and companions of our Risen Christ. How are we nurturing that call? How are we sustained to keep seeking when that call isn't always clear or easy? I pray that each one of us continue to experience Jesus in life-giving ways, during this Easter season and beyond.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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