From a Creighton Student's Perspective
April 15, 2011
Freshman, Biology Major with Pre-Dental Focus
I was having the hardest time writing about today’s Gospel, so I asked my roommate what she got out of the passage. She simply questioned me, “Well, how do you know Jesus is God? How do you affirm him?” This took me back! In order to not be one of the people throwing stones at Jesus in the Gospel of John today, shouldn’t I know why I believe that Jesus is one with God so I’m not one of the ones claiming he’s a blasphemer?
It’s something that I think each one of us are called to think about today: why do we believe that Jesus is a part of the Holy Trinity and not just a blasphemous man? (And you can’t say 'because that’s what church doctrine tells us to believe'!) I came up with my reason after only a little bit of thinking. During my first encounter with adoration, I found myself breaking down and crying. I had never felt so close or connected with Jesus until that time. I felt as if he was there, speaking to me, helping me, guiding me. It was such a powerful experience that I can’t quite put it into words. But that’s why I know Jesus is not just a man claiming to be God – how could a simple human speak to me through the wonders of adoration and move me that much?
During this Lenten season we are called to question how we know that Jesus is Lord and not just a blasphemous man. By doing so, we separate ourselves from those throwing rocks and strengthen our faith in Christ. I found my reason; what’s yours?
God is Our Source of Refuge
Coming to college has taught me a lot about life, especially that life is challenging at times. A couple of months ago I was going through a rough patch, and for some reason, I kept making up excuses on why I couldn’t make it to church every Sunday: “I have too much homework to do”, or “this TV. show is only on during Mass times and I can’t miss it!” The excuses came easily to me. I missed Mass for over a month, and as the month stretched on, life seemed to get harder and harder. One night, when I just couldn’t handle it anymore, I was crying on the phone to my boyfriend wondering why life was so hard. And then God spoke through him to me. My boyfriend asked me when the last time I had been to church was. I sheepishly replied that it had been a while, and he suggested that maybe life seemed so hard because I was not taking refuge in the Lord. It made me think: maybe life is hard, really really hard, but we all have a most amazing Father who wishes to help us with our struggles if only we go to him as our place of refuge and strength.
I’m not going to say that after I went to Mass the next day everything in life turned perfect and I had no more problems, but I will say that my problems seemed a lot more bearable when I turned to the Lord. That’s why I think the responsorial psalm and the passage in Jeremiah are so beautiful today – God is telling us that he is our rock to lean upon when times get tough, he is our saving strength when we don’t seem to have any left, and he is always our place of loving refuge.
During this Lenten season we are called to not forget that the Lord is always here for us; we are never alone in our struggles. During the most difficult and trying times, we can turn to God and he will help us. Today we are called to ask ourselves, 'does life seem so difficult because we have not turned to the Lord for help? How can we see our loving Father as a place of refuge and strength? And, as it says in Jeremiah, how can we trust in the Lord as a mighty hero who is always by our side?'
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