Reflection for Monday, March 23, 2020: 4th week in Lent.

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Wirth, Eileen
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|There shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create;|For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight;|Isaiah|"Don't worry, Dr. Wirth! I've got your back."|Josh, my always cheerful basketball playing student, beamed down on me (I'm 5'2"). I had just apologized because he was left holding the bag after his group project team had disintegrated. One member had simply gone AWOL. Most students would have fretted about the threat to their grades but Josh would make things work.|He had my back. |I recalled this incident as I meditated on today's passage from Isaiah where God rejoices in what he has created and finds his "people to be a delight." It's the way I felt about most of my students most of the time. Whenever I felt hassled, I could count on some special student like Josh to remind me of why I taught. With the right attitude, this can be true of life overall.|I think of what baseball great Bill Veeck once said. "I believe that life abounds in joy for those seek it. I've always reached out for my share with double handfuls."  |Just as God rejoiced in what he had created, we need to open ourselves to small moments of delight in our own worlds like a hot night in August when my son was two.|We had set up a kiddie pool in the driveway and normally Raj would splash around in it under his dad's supervision while I threw dinner together. On this night, however, I noticed Raj, face filled with wonder, watching a butterfly. Captivated, I set down my grocery bags to watch him chase that butterfly. I was filled with joy at the miracle of my son. This was more important than dinner. We ordered pizza later.  |Since today's news is often far from joyful, we may need to work at combatting negativity. Pope Francis offers guidance in a wonderful piece called "Do you want to fast this Lent?" I especially like his suggestions that we "fast from pessimism and be filled with hope" and "fast from worries and trust in God."|A friend in Seattle and I have embarked on a Lenten exercise along these lines. During our weekly "phone coffee" conversations, we start by sharing our latest good news. This has made us aware of small things we were overlooking like funny texts from our kids or a sunny day in February. We had been drowning in bad news because we weren't paying attention to the good news in our lives.|This is Laetare week. Rejoice in God's people and creation. And don't worry! God has our backs.   
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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