Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
December 14th, 2011
by Diane Jorgensen
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church
[189] Isaiah 45:6c-8, 18, 21c-25
Psalms 85:9ab+10, 11-12, 13-14
Luke 7:18b-23

“I am the Lord, there is no other.” Today’s first reading begins with this very uncomplicated assertion from God, and is repeated several times in case we missed it the first time. Like coming home to a welcoming embrace after a long day of work, this certainty about our relationship with God draws us inwardly, and welcomes us to our timeless and spacious home. How fitting that we celebrate St. John of the Cross today. This assertion also begs the question, “is God the Lord of my day?”

“I am the Lord, there is no other; I form the light and the darkness, I create well-being and woe”  This is very good news for our goal-oriented culture – for those of us who think that whatever goodness is in our lives is there because we worked hard and made it happen; whatever health our families enjoy is the result of disciplined efforts in exercise, nutrition and wearing seat belts; whatever prosperity and success our city or country claim, it is because many people labor day and night to accomplish this.  This is equally good news for those who chastise themselves or blame others when we don’t have health, wealth or happiness, and for those among us who enjoy these gifts without having labored or exerted any effort.

As a child, one of my favorite stories was “The Little Engine that Could;” I was formed, and deformed, by its message that if I just tried harder I could accomplish anything. (Unfortunately, it’s still on the market.) How can I continue to give my best efforts without thinking the outcome is my responsibility? Can I stay engaged to my commitments, even when things are not turning out the way I expected? In this Advent season, “Where in my day do I yearn for truth and justice to spring from the earth? Where in my life, do I long for the Savior, and God’s saving grace?

Today let us turn our gaze to the Artist, the one who lovingly fashioned the earth and all within - “The designer and maker of the earth – not creating it to be a waste, but designing it to be lived in.”  Let us be alert and awake!
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