Creighton University's Online Ministries
May 9th, 2011
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“Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.”
Acts of the Apostles
By nature, I am skeptical of most “signs” and “wonders,” not the slightest bit superstitious. While Acts does not tell us what kind of signs and wonders Stephen worked, I fear that had I been around at the time, I would have considered him a nut case or possibly a charlatan.
But Easter is a season when we look for signs of a new life of grace such as Stephen offered to his contemporaries even if skeptics thought he was crazy. Yesterday, I had such an experience of grace, courtesy of my colleague Don Doll S.J. and five of our wonderful graduating students.
The students were seeking the opportunity to give a year of their lives to serve the poor worldwide by working as journalism interns for Jesuit Refugee Services under a program that Fr. Doll has begun. Instead of applying for corporate jobs, they would tell the stories of people in desperate need and their helpers. This is not a gig for someone interested in resume building.
The five students we interviewed are among our most talented writers and photographers. All could do anything anywhere for very nice salaries but they feel called to use the professional skills we have taught them to serve others.
As I listened to one after another of them speaking so earnestly how they want to contribute to the Jesuit mission they have learned here, I thought of Stephen and his signs. Suddenly I realized that I was witnessing hope and renewal in action – young adults who reminded me that the “new life” of Easter is about living our faith in a profound way as all five of our applicants wish to do. Then I asked myself, don’t we all have such an obligation to become such symbols of renewal for others?
People who think success means making bundles of money could write my graduates off as nut cases rather than signs of hope and renewal – but I know who the real nut cases are. Alleluia!
to the writer of this reflection.
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