From a Creighton Student's Perspective
March 18th, 2008
"Before the cock crows tonight, you will deny me three times…" These words of Jesus to Peter turn my stomach, partly because the thought of betraying Jesus, whose suffering was for us, during His most desperate time is horrifying, but mostly because I wonder, would I have done as Peter did? I would like to say, "No, I would have waited by Jesus' side while they scourged him, I would have carried his cross after he fell, and I would have stood beneath it as he died." Unfortunately, it is likely I too would have denied him. It is likely I would have been tempted to deny Jesus then, because at times, I find myself in situations today where it is difficult to claim I follow Jesus.
As we increasingly quarantine God's presence within church walls and beneath a steeple, it becomes easier to deny God in this world even though he is everywhere. A friend a different religious university told me the first day of his economics class the professor said, "Jesus Christ lived 2000 years ago, He suffered and died…, but this is Economics 101, so that's the last time we will talk about that…" This is an institution that acknowledges the presence of God. What happens in places where God is not acknowledged? What happens in situations that are not strictly academic?
When we push the presence of God out of our lives, we neglect to see Him in others. In Matthew 25:35, Jesus describes his presence in people. "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in…" Mother Teresa said, "I see Jesus in every one of them". It can be painful to see Jesus in the hungry and the poor. If a starving person becomes Jesus, how could we neglect his needs? When we miss Jesus' presence in others we miss their beauty. People become highly intelligent animals instead of children of God.
As Jesus is everywhere, it is impossible to dispose of him; he never abandons us. When we are called to testify as witnesses, what will we say? "Yes, Lord, you know I love you!" or "I do not know him?!"
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