Reflection for Friday, April 27, 2007: 3rd week in Easter.

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Shadle Cusic, Marcia
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The dramatic reading from Acts is so full of faith and is such a life-giving message, and yet most of us don't receive messages from God in such a dramatic way as Saul received. As I sit at my desk reflecting on this reading I am stuck, trying to figure out why Saul received such a dramatic and obvious message from God. Luckily for me, I work in the School of Medicine and am surrounded by marvelous students who I can turn to for insight! So I just asked two of our students, "Why did God have to be so obvious with Saul?" And what about the need to have such a personal experience?||My students made me aware, that for some people, a little nudge towards change is all that is needed but for some, a huge push is needed. They also reminded me that some people can experience conversion by reading about or hearing about someone's dramatic life changes due to an event, but for others a personal experience is necessary for change. What great insights these students shared with me as I sat being stuck with the question, " Why did Saul have to have such a dramatic experience/"|In the Responsorial Psalm we are told, "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News."| The question, I think, is "How do we do this?' We each have been given different opportunities and experiences in which we have experienced God's presence in our lives and our own personal experiences with God are the most life changing. While our personal experiences with God are the most powerful (pushing us) those individual stories, shared with others can have significant meaning for others. Maybe what we all need to do is to a) recognize our own life-changing experiences with God; b) listen to the life experiences of others; and c) help others see the guiding hand of God in their personal situations.|When I read the Gospel for today I contemplated on the lines, "Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life. I thought about the actions of actually eating and drinking and thought about how very important these actions are to maintaining life! The reading lead me to the idea that our initial taking of the Lord's teaching as our initial eating and then our need for constant nourishment by drinking. "Unless we eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." We are called to taste the gift of faith and then to continuously drink in new experiences of our faith and to share how this constant nourishment gives us the energy and the freedom to live and be all that we can be.|Finally, I must tell you, my son is graduating in May from college, with a degree in Political Science and with questionable faith. I do wonder what life will hold for him and how he will react if given a big push from God to recognize and to open up the gift of faith. I'll try to be there, as I fear he will need a big push, and once again, remind him of God's gentle hand guiding him. Please keep him in your prayers.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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