Daily Reflection
May 18th, 2007

Tim Dickel

Education Department
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In today’s readings, Acts of the Apostles (18:9-18) describes how the Lord protected Paul throughout his teaching of the word of God in Corinth. The Responsorial Psalm (47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7) reminds us that “God is king of all the earth” and worthy of our praises. And, the Gospel of John (16:20-23) describes Jesus’ teaching to the apostles that they will grieve his absence, but they will see him again. Jesus promises His followers that “whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” The messages in the readings reinforce the power of God and the presence in heaven of our advocate Jesus.

There a number of directions that I could go with today’s readings, but because our daughter is due to deliver her first child in early June, I keep coming back to the following passage from John, as he quotes Jesus:

“When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
But when she has given birth to a child,
She no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
That a child has been born into the world.”

Two lines of thinking come to mind as I have read, and re-read this quote.

First, a woman’s body is capable of delivering, but the process of delivery is usually not without the kind of pain that Jesus mentions in the preceding quote. In addition, I know that complications can occur during labor and delivery that have consequences for mother and/or child. Thus, for the modern parent (and grandparent), there can be pain and too much knowledge in terms of possible adverse consequences.

My Good Friday reflection was about trusting God, and although my intention was not to write about a previous theme, trusting God seems particularly important for me and for our family, at this moment. I pray each day for our daughter and the child she is carrying, for a safe delivery, and for a happy, healthy child. I am really not worrying about the remainder of her pregnancy, the delivery, or the outcome. I know that I can trust God to take care of both mother and child during labor and delivery, and we will be there to help. As with Good Friday, my prayer continues, “God, you have taken such good care of me and my loved ones in the past; I am trusting that you will continue such good works as you have previously performed. You work so very hard to convince me that all will be well, and I will believe that you are with me and with my loved ones.”

Second, part of my teaching load each semester centers around human development from conception to late adolescence. If nothing else is gained from the course, I want students to come away with a profound sense of awe at the miracle of human conception, gestation, birth, and life-long development. Much of what I teach can be reduced to scientific fact, but there is a dimension that for me defies any science and leaves me in complete wonder. I have that profound sense of awe as I look at the-little-girl-turned-mother-to-be whose birth I witnessed and who has been the source of joy for thirty years. God has taken such good care of her in the past; I am trusting that our Lord will continue such good works as have previously been performed. I cannot wait to meet our granddaughter. I will write about her next fall when I return from the summer and have my feet back on the ground.

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