Reflection for Tuesday, May 16, 2000: 4th week in Easter.
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Today's readings bring to mind a question that high school retreat masters used to ask: "If you were tried for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict?" In our innocence, we would think of things like going to Mass on Sunday and shy; which of course our parents insisted on and shy; or saying the rosary even when the nuns didn't force us to. Yes, there was evidence and shy; but better light another candle or pay a visit to church just to be sure there was enough.|"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me," says Jesus in today's reading from John. What does this mean to us? How do we produce evidence that we are hearing his voice and following him?|When I was a young baby boomer, instead of an aging baby boomer, I wondered if acquiring the evidence to be convicted of being a Christian required becoming a social activist and shy; everything from demonstrating for peace to boycotting grapes. But the heroes of those movements led lives that weren't feasible for most people. We might tutor in a ghetto or send a donation or attend an avant garde church but that was about the extent of our risk taking. Was this enough evidence? Was it the right kind of evidence for Jesus to recognize us as one of his sheep? Did we need to go to jail for peace or spend a year in a barrio in Latin America?|I'm more laid back about the answer to this question now thanks to the wonderfully realistic and practical spirituality of St. Ignatius. The world is good and we can find God in everything we do. Every task can be made holy if we think of it that way. Our worship and our lives can become a seamless whole if we will only let them.|I'm sometimes struck by how often I blow small opportunities to do this:|Getting annoyed at other drivers in traffic.|Complaining about having picked the slowest line at the grocery store.|Failing to see Jesus in students who whine about assignments or grades.|Failing to perform small kindnesses when those would mean a lot and shy; even something as simple as answering phone calls from telemarketers pleasantly.|Ignatius demands that we think seriously about our lives and the role that faith plays in them and shy; just as Jesus does in today's Gospel. Ultimately if we do this, we will change the spirit with which we go about daily life even if the framework of job, family, church, school etc. remain the same.|The greatness of Ignatian spirituality is that it offers a continuum. It has inspired missionaries, martyrs, saints and heroes to give their lives for God. It can inspire us ordinary souls to find God in the people we deal with every day -- even inept grocery checkers and telemarketers! It calls us to think seriously about our obligation to serve and the hundreds of opportunities to serve that we almost trip over every day.|If we get serious about finding God in our daily lives and acting on what we find, we will accumulate plenty of evidence to convict us of being Christians and shy; especially if we stop calculating our total to date.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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