Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
February 2nd, 2011

Janine ter Kuile

Financial Aid Office
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What a joyous and significant event this was for Mary and Joseph, bringing their first-born male to the temple to be dedicated to God. This meant, for them, that Jesus would always be in God’s hands and they, as parents, would promise to teach him.  I‘m picturing Mary, swaying atop the ox, prayerfully clinging to her precious bundle and giving deep thanks for all God had brought to her and had brought her through!

I am also watching Simeon and Anna, two ‘righteous and devout’ servants, exclaiming loudly with gratitude, that God had rewarded their faithfulness by revealing this tiny, powerless infant as the Prince of Peace!  What parents and church community wouldn’t feel consecrated and bathed in the Holy Spirit?!  Giddy is grace…

Now I‘m envisioning the consecration of my two daughters!  Like dropping breadcrumbs to find a way home, I count back through my generations of parents before me, who passed on the commitment to raise their children with faith despite hopeless scenarios of war and disease.  My great-grandmother, a new wife of a minister twice her age, died when she was twenty-one years old after moving to Louisiana, in the deep south, to live as a missionary. She succumbed to typhoid fever.  My grandmother was 21 months old. I can easily imagine the qualities of Mary that she held, committed to her beliefs, willing to risk her life despite the odds stacked against her.  For those who are not parents, I hold in great esteem my aunt, a religious woman, who held the distinction of being one of the first women in the Catholic Church to receive her doctorate in canon law.  She died recently, leaving a legacy in the church that few will fully understand, but for those who walked alongside her, who knew the sacrifices she made.

These past generations were faithful through their life.  And my charge is no different; I cannot believe one moment, then go my way the next.  This requires some consecration of my life to being with and for God.  That means returning to my gratefulness for all I’ve been given, turning away negative thoughts and renewing  a vow to live a simple life, to love others consciously… with purpose.  Begin today by listening to Brother David Steindl-Rast on this You Tube video and meditate on the stories of our ancestors. Then open your heart to your blessings.

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