Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

April 21, 2011
by

Kevin Ryan

Freshman, History Major, Biology Minor, Pre-Med

Holy Thursday
Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
1 Cor 11:23-26
Jn 13:1-15

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.’”  -John 13:7

Today is Holy Thursday, one of the holiest days in the Church year.  In just a short while, we will celebrate the greatest act of love ever performed: Jesus’s death on the cross for our salvation.  In the Gospel today, Jesus has instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders through the washing of the disciples' feet.  He is the example for all those ordained to be leaders, but more importantly, servants of their people.  That being said, this reading really made me think about vocations—not just vocations to Holy Orders, but vocations to all walks of life.

I am the type of person who likes to be in control of his situation.  I enjoy the feeling of knowing what and when something will happen and I like the feeling of being prepared for it.  I don’t care to be unsure about things; I am a natural planner.  As a college student, I have tried to plan out the rest of my life.  My arrangements, however, have a serious flaw: I don’t know if my plan is God’s plan.  I don’t know what my vocation is yet.  If God has revealed it to me, I definitely missed it.  This uncertainty about my vocation has led me to unintentionally take control over my life.  One of my biggest problems is that I am afraid to give back control of even the little aspects of my life to God.  I know I am not alone with this problem.  For some reason, many of us have a hard time just trusting that we will be happy and letting God take control of our lives.  For me, it all comes down to a lack of trust in God, as irrational as that sounds.  My lack of trust and my inability to give up control have been very difficult problems to overcome.  But the Gospel today has some great examples to follow. 

The Gospel gives us one example of unwavering trust and one example of mistrust in the Lord.  Peter, after all he has been through with Jesus, still does not understand what Jesus is doing for him.  He doesn’t show his trust in Jesus when Jesus tries to wash his feet.  Peter is so much like us: after all we have been through we know that only goodness can come from what God does in our lives.  So why can’t we just trust him to take control?  Jesus asks us to put our trust in him so that when we give him control of our lives, we will end up in the vocation we are supposed to be.

Jesus is the ultimate example of trust in God.  He knows what is to come.  He knows his death is approaching.  But he places all his trust in the Father who has given him control, and he does the Father’s will.  Jesus knows in his heart that if the Father wills it, only good can come of it.  So Jesus shows his infinite trust in the Father by preparing himself and his disciples for what he knows is coming: his Passion.  Even though he knows he can, Jesus doesn’t try to change his life by deciding not to die.  By washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus shows he is the servant, at the command of his master.  He surrenders all authority of his life and—in the end—dies on the cross for our salvation.

Trust is what Lent is all about.  We offer up our small sacrifices or do extra acts of goodwill during this time to prove to ourselves our dependence on earthly things is something we can live without, but our dependence on and trust in God is essential.  We must find a way to take the things in our lives we insist on having the most control of and lay them at the foot of Jesus’s cross.  We must let the Lord have control of all aspects of our lives by having faith that God will work through us and lead us to happiness in his vocation for each of us. 



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