Daily Reflection
May 19th, 2000
Michael Lee, S.J.
Theology Department
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Acts 13:26-33
Psalms 2:6-11
John 14:1-6

Deeply moved by the tender trust of friends who had just placed it in my hands, I sat down quietly and reflectively to read their son’s college assignment entitled, “My Image of God.”  In the paper, the young man beautifully recounted how God had revealed himself through the faces of his family members and his friends.  God’s gift of quiet joy pulsed in that paper.

Awestruck by that young man’s encounter with God, I asked each of my Freshmen Theology students to capture their own Image of God in only 5 pages.  Just as had happened with the young man’s account, my own students’ words often moved me to prayer.  Some wrote plaintive accounts filled with longing for God’s healing touch in their lives.  For others, excitement gushed forth in joyful stories of the discovery of God’s presence through serving a needy child or through a weekend spiritual retreat sponsored by campus ministry.  A hand-full of students thought it a trick question, and kept asking me to re-define what I had meant by the term, “Image of God.” 

Perhaps most encouraging of all, a group of students who were sunning themselves on the lawn recently, called me over to ask questions like: 

  • Why should I bother to make time for personal prayer? 
  • Could prayer really help me as I try to choose a major? 
  • If my boyfriend and I pray together, could it help us to grow in our relationship?”

Then one smiling young woman in the group asked, “How should I go about doing library research for this Image of God paper?”  Guessing by her smile that she was only kidding me, I gave an equally clipped and playful reply.  I said, “Just take any verse from the New Testament; read it several times reverently; meditate on it.  Let God do his part in your Image of God paper!  You know, some answers just aren’t found in books!” 

Call it divine inspiration, but this reply provided my student with a fruitful method of prayer the likes of which St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, would approve.  I challenge you to try it, too.  I challenge you to spend a moment now with your own Image of God.  That is, I invite you to meditate for a moment on a verse from today’s Gospel of John.  One popular verse is the following:
“Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” 

(John 14: 6)

What do you have to lose by a little prayer with this passage?
Would you try a repeated reverent reading?

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How did the words of scripture affect your Image of God?

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