Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
June 3rd, 2009

Deb Fortina

Academic Affairs
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Tobit 3: 1-11a, 16-17a…At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God.  So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit’s eyes, so that he might again see God’s sunlight; and to marry Raguel’s daughter Sarah to Tobit’s son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodius from her..’...”

Psalm 25:  2-3, 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9 …Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for your are God my savior...”

Mark 12: 18-27 “…have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him; I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  He is not God of the dead, but of the living.  You are greatly misled.”

Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions. (1860 to 1886) was one of 22 martyred for the faith. Lwanga at 18 was placed under Mawulugungu, the chief of Kirwanyi.  He learned about our Faith in 1880 while listening to missionaries.  After this he instructed others including the court pages for whom he was placed in charge.  Chief Mawulugungu died and Lwanga and the other pages were transferred to the house or care of King Mwanga in 1884.  But this was the beginning of the end for them, for they were sorely mistreated.  Their lives were at risk due to their Christian allegiance.  Lwanga always protected them from the King’s homosexual advances.  He also prepared them for martyrdom, as they found themselves vulnerable to attach because of their Faith.  Lwanga’s story of courage is worth reading, he was burned to death slowly, starting with his feet.  But, he praised God and endured all for the sake of the Name; all were great witnesses to our Faith.  By their example may we have the courage to hold tight to our own Faith; despite the challenges we face today. 

Faith could be one of the themes today, especially when you look at the lives of the Martyrs we recognize.  Tobit from our first reading is brimming with humility and displays a strong faith, even though his resolve to stay alive and face his diminished lifestyle without eyesight is revealed.  The Gospel reading from Mark, like in our first reading, refers to the number seven, the perfect number.  We find Jesus teaching and answering questions, but it appears those listening are just trying to trip him up, judging by his response to their questions.

Like Tobit, our faith is called upon and becomes more visible during our trials.  Living out our Faith, if anything, is discouraged by the world today.  But reading about Tobit’s Faith helped me realize how I have been utilizing my own Faith to work through a family decision, regarding the care of my Mom.  After weeks of daily care to sores on Mom’s foot, we found out her poor circulation was the culprit and that she needed a procedure to unblock an artery in her thigh.  Even my Mom thought she might like to wait, because she had a Class Reunion to attend the weekend following the day the Doctor had scheduled the procedure.  Something in me felt we would lose the opportunity to repair the problem if we didn’t act immediately.  By this time, we’d been through a series of doctor’s visits, and were given differing methods to treat her sores.  There were lots of prayers, including using holy water we’d brought back from Lourdes.  But the sores were persistent; we really weren’t making headway anymore.  We’d been warned about diabetics getting sores on their feet, and now we understood the danger.

Mom is recovering from a successful procedure; thank God.   The Doctor was able to get through 18 cm of blockage to put a stent in; our first miracle was realized.  We are still praying she doesn’t lose her toe, or worse her foot, now that she has blood flow to help in the battle to heal the wounds.  In the end, I felt my Faith in God, to whom I’d spoken to in prayer throughout those many weeks had led us to the information about her blockage; the decision to proceed immediately was simple after that.  But, not so for the others; it made for some uncomfortable moments.  So far it has turned out to be the right one; in the end we all wanted the best for Mom, we just didn’t agree which “best” was best.  I am grateful for my Faith, which has been kept alive through prayer and through trial..

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