Daily Reflection
December 11th, 2003
Marcia Cusic
Medical School Chaplain
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Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalm 145:1, 9, 10-11, 12-13
Matthew 11:11-15

The readings today made me reflect on a conversation I had recently with a student who was feeling very anxious about an academic grade.  In our conversation, the student shared an insight from a family member who suggested, "Be still."  " Keep silence before me, O coastlands; you peoples, wait for my words!"  In my conversation with this student I was strengthened by the student's determination to answer God's call and to over come this academic obstacle in order to complete the medical degree.

"Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God.  I will strengthen you, and help you, and uphold you with my right hand."  These words are so powerful, they give strength and hope; and will be a powerful message I will share, as I interact with students preparing for their final exam week.

The reading from Psalms makes me feel confident about this student's ability to overcome the academic obstacle.   "The Lord supports all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.  The eyes of all look hopefully to you; you give them their food in due season."  God is with us in our life's struggles AND with faith, determination and a decision on our part, to use the gifts that have been given, life can be an exciting challenge, full of opportunities to grow in our relationship with God and with other people in our lives.

It is through these life challenges and through these opportunities that we can enter into a richer relationship with God.  In Matthew, Jesus does not make everything  "perfectly clear," rather He challenges people by not giving all the details but allows people to 'figure it out' for themselves. We need to experience the Lord in our own unique way and then develop our own personal relationship with God based on what they (we) hear and see.

John the Baptist, as a spokesman for the Lord, was sent to prepare the way, to help people know and understand the new messages from the Lord.  Many of us, like John the Baptist, are given opportunities to announce, and reinforce the messages of Jesus our Lord and our God.

As a follower of Jesus, I am blessed to be able to live and share the messages of God; to seek a deeper reliance on God.  "Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves."  I pray that I will be able to call upon my personal relationship with God, and to use the gifts He has given me, to reinforce the messages of the Lord.  "To be still;  Keep silence before me, and to Trust," as the students prepare for their final exams.

May God continue to bless all of us with strength and courage to accept life's challenges as opportunities to grow in our trusting relationship with our Lord.


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