Reflection for Tuesday, January 3, 2012: 2nd week in Christmas.

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Gaston, Maria Teresa
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I have been praying to know what to write for this, my final reflection in the Daily Reflections (for a while! I am leaving Creighton to concentrate on my doctoral studies.) As I re-read the gospel this morning and pray with John the Baptist, I become John, WITNESS, recognizing the One who has been sent into the world to save us.|I have been a privileged witness to the work of grace in the lives of many, many students and many community members who touch and teach them and are blessed by them. Like simple water from the Jordan, the ingredients that combine to make the revelations and epiphanies happen are common all around us here at Creighton. Perhaps what we do in the CCSJ (with the cooperation of many others: Public Safety, Financial Aid, the Jesuit Community, St. John's, everyone who contributes at the Soup Luncheon, etc.!) is about creating space, safe passage.|We offer a welcome structure to journey out of noise and busy-ness, distractions and addictions, and into the strange, still waters of tentative community, peer-led reflection, quiet meditation, examination of conscience and of social systems. The small groups support friendship-forming searching conversations, non-electronic game-playing, belly-laughter, hand-made thank-you notes, beans and bread. All this also comes with painful encounters with children in poverty, families enduring homelessness, injured workers, Native American truth-tellers, unauthorized parents and Dreamers, Katrina survivors - all who unmask ways that our country has and has not lived up to its ideals.|These same teachers along with our service trip hosts, offer hospitality that astounds. They open their lives of sacrifice and ministry to the authenticity-hungry students and our students are never the same. Students emerge from this baptism with freedom from the culture-binding pressures and expectations and are better able to consider lives focused on service, meaning, and pursuit of justice in communities stoking faith.|In all this the Holy Spirit is as palpable as the quivering dove that descended upon the Holy One.|My heart is filled with gratitude for the privileged and shared work of a team of believers who every day chooses to use their incredible talents to continue to make straight the highway for our God.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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