Daily Reflection
May 1st, 2000
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
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Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalms 7:2-3, 9-12
John 7:40-53

Both these readings lead me to reflect upon “faith.”   Nicodemus takes the risk to come and talk with Jesus, as one inquiring, “for no man can perform signs and wonders such as you perform unless God is with him.”  Peter and John are “filled with the Holy Spirit” in the midst of serious persecution, and it is contagious for their community.

Who hasn't struggled with faith?  Perhaps only a few of us ever wandered into being “non-believers.”  Most of us, I suspect, live our lives along a continuum – a broad series of patterns which go from an integrated faith that gives life to all the choices we make, to a compartmentalized faith that does not significantly influence or affect the way we live day to day.   There are long stretches, when things are going well, that we rarely even allude to God, or who we are as children of God.  There are times of crisis when we petition earnestly for help, relief, a miracle.  There are times when shame, guilt, contrition draw us to prayers of sorrow, and an experience of reconciliation.

Perhaps, when we were younger, we actually struggled “intellectually” with the existence of God.  Most of us, I imagine, “believe” almost all the time that God exists.  Many of us have had experiences of  God’s presence.  Some of us carry on conversations with God quite regularly and “listen” to what God might be saying to us, within us.

In the second week of Easter we can all name the desire to be more “on fire” with the Spirit of the Risen Jesus.  We can all “wrestle” more with what it would mean for us to be re-born – with a new life that comes to us from God.  And we can all desire to be more faith-filled so that each day, from the time we get up until the time we go to bed, we are more free from anxiety, fear, and the “compromises” that only come from our “un-belief” and our un-freedoms.

More concretely, if I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead, and that Death itself has no real power over me, then I can live today with less worry about everything – from how I look, to what others think of me, to how I am succeeding, to how I might survive this day.  I can walk in the grace to face conflict with an inner peace and security.  I can face emotion shattering trauma and life threatening tragedies.  I can trust that my life is in God’s hands.  I can long for the coming of the Spirit to confirm these graces for God’s greater glory and the service of others.

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