Daily Reflection
May 1st, 2001
Joan Lanahan
Nursing School Chaplain
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Acts 7:51-8:1
Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
John 6:22-29 


Sr. Janet was on a retreat many years ago when I met her.  She was in her 70's and about to move from the Motherhouse to a large city to open a house of prayer.  When I asked how it was to be subsidized, her answer was "God provides."

Do you think Stephen was thinking "God loves me; God provides" during his arrest and execution by stoning?  He must have, as Acts tells us he prayed to Jesus to receive him in death and to forgive his executioners.

Stephen and Jesus were about the WORK OF GOD.  Jesus, in John, explains God's work as "believe in one whom the Father has sent."  The power of belief in God empowered Stephen and Jesus to perform miracles, to preach a gospel of love and forgiveness and to die.  Jesus then was Resurrected so we might believe.

God gifts us with belief, with faith, when we are open to God in our lives.  Many times life tests us; life, not God.  We will each go through some suffering that is hard to bear.  It might be a loved one dying; we might need to make a "pull the plug" decision for a loved one.  A grave illness, unemployment, ending a relationship or some other suffering will grab at our heartstrings.  It is God who is in these moments with us to give us comfort.  Sometimes we don't feel God's presence though.

Too often we look for big miracles during tough times, e.g. the Navy crewmen and women returned safely from China after the air disaster, or the teen girl kidnapped from a Nebraska shopping mall and later returned safely to her family and friends, or cure of a disease.  These big miracles do happen once in a while.

I think it is a miracle when we can find God in our daily lives.  All we have to do is ask "where was I most grateful today?"  Gratitude for gifts show us where God is present to us.

Tonight why not reflect for 5 minutes: 

what am I most grateful for? 
what am I least grateful for? 
and give thanks to God who Provides for us. 
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