Reflection for Friday, February 8, 2013: 4th week in Ordinary Time.

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Shirley, Nancy
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The readings for today are wonderful in that they are both reassuring and challenging. As I read them I was filled with encouragement knowing that I have entertained angles and challenged by the gospel to question how I live my faith.||The first reading encourages us to let our love show, to focus on the most important aspects of life. I loved the part about not neglecting hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. I know that I have been blessed by many angels in my life - some I did not immediately appreciate. I pray regularly throughout the day to my Guardian Angel whose presence I am very much aware of during difficult times. This reading also reminded to not be afraid - we will never be forsaken.|The opening stanza is the responsorial psalm says it all: the LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? There is such power and comfort in those words. Chris Tomlin has a new song entitled, Whom shall I fear? The lyrics really pull together both of these readings with the idea of angel armies at our side. The words are wonderful . . .|I know who goes before me I know who stands behind The God of Angel Armies Is always by my side The one who reigns forever He is a friend of mine The God of Angel Armies Is always by my side| When I read the gospel I immediately remembered a movie from the 50's or 60's that depicted this story in a very vivid scene. King Herod watched the frenzied dance and was totally entertained making promises that he would regrettably have to keep. I also remembered that growing up at that time there seemed to be many movies of this kind: the "epic" Ben Hur, The Robe, and Quo Vadis to name a few. They are still vivid in my memory because they inspired and intrigued me. I read the books that they were based on with great relish. I imagined what life was for the followers of Christ when he was alive and pondered the hardships of early Christians. I was mesmerized by the challenges they faced. As a child, I would imagine being there. How would I act? What would I do? Obviously, I did not live then so I was not "tested" in that same way. The real question is in my life now, how do I live up to the challenges. Oh, I'm not worried that I have to face lions or soldiers coming to persecute or torture me (although still reality for many Christians in other countries). Do I face challenges in standing up for what I believe to be right and true? Do I stay quiet when my voice should be heard? Do my actions indicate my beliefs? Do I walk "hand in hand?" Will "they know I am Christian by my love, by my love? Will they know I am Christian by my love?"
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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