Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 31st, 2009

Elizabeth Furlong

School of Nursing
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Because I participated in a Jesuit Immersion trip to their Kohima Province in the remote northeast Indian Tribal States a year ago, I can immediately make a connection between the theme of faith noted in the First Reading, the Gospel, and in the designation of today in memory of St. John Bosco.

From the First Reading we again remember the importance of great faith shown by Abraham and Sarah. In the Gospel, we find an opposite reaction from the disciples as Christ asks them – “Do you not yet have faith?”

Many women friends and I have struggled with the Abraham story. There can be many perspectives brought to that story.

In 2009 we have the tradition of knowing that in the examples given in today’s Reading and Gospel, miraculous examples were given to Abraham, Sarah, and the disciples to affirm their faith. Isaac was spared, Sarah became pregnant, and the disciples observed the sea waters be still. Sometimes it seems more difficult for us to have that great faith – most of us think we do not experience such miraculous examples from God to confirm our faith. What do we do? I think the answer varies for each of us. For today, specifically, I’m reminded of how my faith gets re-affirmed not only by my individual spirituality, but, by observing the lived faith of others.

That reminder is so strong today – because one way my faith gets re-affirmed is my remembering the above Immersion trip and the Jesuits in Northeast India who have and are living their faith in the remote lower Himalayas where they are literally being 21st century missionaries for Christ. When our group was in India, we also saw the legacy of St. John Bosco – with many Catholic ministries because of him. And, our small group of eight travelers remembers well how we benefitted from both the faith, and the hospitality, of the churches of St. John Bosco.

I write this late evening on 1-8-09 – having participated in a memorial service for a very dear friend of mine, Jo E. She died at 92 years of age and I had the great opportunity to be her good friend for 30 years. She represents one more way that I re-affirm my faith. Her last gift to her family two and one half days before she died was a singular kind of intentional loving and letting go communication. She taught us all one way of making the final transition that none of us will forget.

So, while I and others in 2009 do not see nor observe the miraculous events that are connected with Abraham, Sarah, and the calming of the seas, I see and observe the miracles in my life which teach me and re-affirm my faith – from Jesuits in the enduring Himalayas of Northeast India to the life of Jo E. and an enduring 30-year friendship.

How do you name the miracles in your life that sustain your faith?

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