Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
February 17th, 2012

Nancy Shirley

School of Nursing
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Friday in Sixth Week of Ordinary Time
[339] James 2:14-24, 26
Psalm 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Mark 8:34-9:1


Today’s readings challenge us to walk the talk.  It is not enough to say we are faithful, indeed, to even be faithful, without actions to accompany that faith. The idea that faith is manifest in actions fits perfectly with the teachings and perspectives of St. Ignatius and the foundation of so much of what we do here at Creighton.  As a child of God living his vision for me as wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and nursing professor, I find many opportunities to put this faith into action. I am blessed, indeed!!

While not limited to these two, the Ignatian values that stand out for me as I ponder today’s readings are those of Faith that Does Justice and Women and Men For and With Others.  I am blessed to teach future nurses within the context of these values and to convey to them and share with them numerous ways that are open to us daily.  In the profession of nursing we are constantly serving one another, the patients for whom we care be they individuals, families, or communities, our colleagues, and ourselves.  As part of Founder’s Week here at Creighton University, we celebrated “A Call to Nursing” with many of our students in attendance.  Through sharing our experiences and listening to the insights and wisdom of a panel of alums, we were able to examine our Call.  Songs and pictures enhanced this reflection and allowed us all to bathe in the light of our calling.  As may be expected, divine influence was definitely a part of all of this. 

As we planned for this event I was asked to emcee and to choose the music; I wondered what words of wisdom I might impart and how I would find just the right songs.  Of course, I didn’t need to look far.  A few weeks before the event, one of the readings was about Samuel’s calling.  Thank you God, I have my opening and then we closed with a perfect song** about being called.  I felt divinely touched and inspired for my part.  I knew I would have the opportunity for faith into action!  But a couple of days later, I couldn’t remember the name of the song.   I was going to drop by at the church one evening pray a little and flip through the song book – I was sure I could find it.  As I pulled into the nearly empty parking lot, a car pulled in right beside me.  I looked toward the driver and couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the music director who accompanies the singers at every mass!  As she emerged from her car, I nearly pounced on her, asking about the songs from the mass the Sunday before.  She easily revealed the title of the song, the writer and who published it . . . it was too good to be true.  Another God-incidence and a blessing to me. So the opportunity to share that faith with students was greatly enhanced by the Grace of God. When these things happen, I am inspired to not only be strengthened in my faith but to take action to live that faith in what I do. 

On this day, February 17th, my maternal Grandpa was born 142 years ago.  He died when I was only 6 years old, so my memories of him are limited.  I was trying to think of examples when he demonstrated his faith in action.  As a father to 12 children and a faithful husband, he lived it daily.  He was a kindly landlord to the tenants who dwelled in a three-story tenement-house on the front of his property.  I recall my mother speaking of his actions during the Depression when money was tight for everyone.  He would allow the tenants to pay partial rent during those months when it was difficult for them to make the full payments.  He certainly was not a rich man but would manage to take care of his family on a little less that month.  While  he could not read or write, he clearly gave the message of what it was to be a man of faith and action.  He walked the talk. . .  .  I aspire to follow in his footsteps.

**The song was We Are Called by David Haas.  This link has a beautiful version with the perfect pictures of faith in action – our call to action in our walk with God.
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