Daily Reflection
April 6th, 2006

Cathy Weiss Pedersen

Campus Ministry
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Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
John 8:51-59

In my ministry with engaged couples, we use FOCCUS, which is a process instrument designed to ‘Facilitate Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study’, as the couple determines their readiness to enter into a covenant with one another. It is on the basis of the couple’s truly being themselves with one another and accepting one another that they are able to choose to begin the life-long journey together of faithfulness in the sacrament of marriage. As all married couples know, the celebration of marriage is only the beginning of this on-going living out of a relationship that is open to growing in knowledge and love of and with one another.

In today’s readings, the understanding of covenant is front and center.

In Genesis, God is entering a covenant of faithfulness with Abraham (and Sarah). God’s pledge of presence to Abraham (and Sarah) is also with all their descendents, and God says: “I will be their God”. God also says…”On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”
In John’s Gospel, Jesus is attempting to help the people in the temple to understand what it means to accept God’s promise, “I will be their God’. However, the lack of their understanding prompts Jesus to declare, “you do not know God, but I know God…and I keep God’s word…before Abraham came to be, I AM.” This is too much for the people to accept, and they pick up stones to throw at Jesus.

Just as two individuals’ marriage promise to enter into covenant with one another is awesome…even mind-boggling, as one realizes that it is utter trust and love in another human being that is meant to be a dynamic, ever evolving living into the meaning of faithfulness with one another, our covenant with God is overwhelming and awe-inspiring.

Do we truly believe that God invites us into an ongoing relationship…and is ever faithful to us? Can we trust ourselves to say ‘yes’ to this relationship with God…even as we know that we may stumble in our ability to grasp what tremendous love this means from our God?

Luckily, we do not need to grasp this all at once and we don’t have to do it ourselves! It IS a relationship, which means that it evolves, and does not depend on us, ourselves. It is WITH God, which means that we only need to open ourselves to the possibility of God’s presence in our lives…to honestly open ourselves to God’s love, and to willingly accept that love as a life force in our day to day living, so that we may grow into the person God is calling us to be.

As in all relationships – it takes time, dedication, and presence to the Other. How do I/we make time to be present to our God? Do we believe that God truly loves us and desires to be with/for us?

I pray for the grace to be open to the God of love…to accept and invite God in the midst of my life…to try to learn that I am not alone in opening myself to the tremendous presence of God’s presence in my life…God is there for and with me, and that makes all the difference!

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