From a Creighton Student's Perspective
February 19th, 2008
Sophomore, Pre-Med, Exercise Science Major and Biology Minor
Today’s Gospel caused me to question myself. Who are the scribes and Pharisees in my life, in the world? Am I using words more than I am using actions? This Lenten season is a perfect example of reflection on the meanings of sacrifice and justice. Each Lent, I make a promise to omit or add something into my daily routine. Sometimes this sacrifice is difficult to follow through with, yet I remember that our personal sacrifices are minute compared to the sacrifice that Christ made for us. I sometimes struggle with the realization of how easy it is to put myself and my needs before others. The “sacrifice” I make for these forty days are a drop in a bucket to what others live their entire lives without. It is a simple concept that the Bible states: put others before ourselves. Sure, I know the idea, but how often do I put it into practice? God’s words for me are a reminder of how He wishes me to live: as an example to others by working to serve others.
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:1-12) These words are very important to examine. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled.” It is not hard to find an example of these words in action (and I will leave it up to you to formulate your own example), and the ease at which these examples can be found is disappointing. Serving others to benefit myself is not what God has in mind. Yes, it is serving, however, the acts are completed for the reward. God wishes for me to serve others for the sake of others, and not my own; God wishes us to put others before ourselves. We can do this by using our time and talents.
The first reading gives us a compassionate, yet justice-seeking God. As it says in Isaiah 1:16, “…learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.” To me these words symbolize our roles as defenders. God wants us to stand up for those who may not be able to stand up for themselves. This concept is not always easy. It is difficult to be the person to step forward to promote change or voice an injustice. However small the action may seem, it is nonetheless a step towards justice.
I am proud to say that I am a Creighton student because of Creighton’s dedication to truth and justice. In fact, these words are put into practice every day by our mission statement. However, the promotion of justice and service to others is by no means contained within the campus of a university. There is no boundary for the promotion of justice. I have had the opportunity to see, on a daily basis, the influence that a selfless person can have. I am blessed to have an opportunity to learn from such influences. These people know that they may have to face a struggle, but it is a battle that they are willing to make for others. To me, every deed is an act of God because each action not only promotes justice, but also promotes hope. It is this hope that drives me to learn more, the hope that justice will someday exist for all of God’s children.
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