From a Creighton Student's Perspective
March 26th, 2008
Junior – Pre Med majoring in Psychology and Spanish
I bet that many of us sometimes feel as though we do not have very much to offer or that what we have to offer is not significant. Because we may have “neither silver nor gold” or the ability to cure a person like the apostles, we shy away from helping those around us thinking that someone else would be more qualified or able. However, today’s readings suggest that we should follow Peter and John’s example through acting in a way that says, “What I do have, I give you” in an attempt to offer our talents, knowledge, or time to someone in need. Just as valuable as making a monetary donation is spending time volunteering or offering to use a talent of ours for someone other than ourselves.
In the same way that we should attempt to offer what we can to those around us, we should also see how we too can grow through the people we are helping. One of the core Jesuit values is the idea that we should be “men and women for and with others.” When I first came to Creighton I was confused by the “and with” part of that value, but over time I have been taught and realized that this is the most important part. Service with a mindset of only helping others and not gaining anything from them is mildly arrogant. So yes, we should do things for another person, however by growing and gaining with that other person we build a sense of humble solidarity and the service suddenly becomes a two-way street.
Today’s Gospel offers one major way we can gain from helping another person. Just as the two disciples were challenged to recognize God in their traveling companion, we too are challenged to keep a watchful eye for God’s presence in those around us. “Were our hearts not burning?” they asked after they had spent the day with Jesus. We should also, in some sense, feel a burning in our hearts because of the presence of God in everyone around us.
The disciples’ eyes were opened only when Jesus revealed himself to them through the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist. Too often I find myself going through the motions at Mass and, I’m sad to say, not fully and completely appreciating the beautiful mystery and overwhelming power of the Eucharist. This should be the easiest place for us to notice, feel, and experience God.
In what way is God trying to communicate with you through someone else? Regardless of whom you interact with today, try to seek God in that person.
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