Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

September 29th, 2008

Allison Showalter

Junior, Physics Major

Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rv 12:7-12ab
Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5
Jn 1:47-51

I am often caught off-balance when I participate in conversations with a person when he or she seems to know more about me than I remember sharing with that person. Just like Nathanael in today’s Gospel, I want to question that person, “How do you know me?” I am unsure how this person has come to know some detail of my life or my personality that I did not think was common knowledge. I want to establish the connection this person shares with me and how she or he could possibly have gained intimate information about me. I find an even stronger personal connection with Nathanael when reading the verses in John (1:43-46) that precede today’s Gospel reading. Prior to this encounter, Jesus is calling followers and one of them tells Nathanael that he has found the Messiah. Nathanael begins to trash talk Jesus because he is from Nazareth. In response, the disciple takes Nathanael to see Jesus for himself. It is in this setting that the Gospel for today begins and Jesus says of Nathanael that there is no deceit in him. I find this to be ironic because I have had a similar experience to Nathanael’s in my own life. It seems that whenever I am talking about somebody behind his or her back or being generally insulting about a person, when I turn around, that person is standing right behind me or is walking towards me. I am always amazed at how well God knows me in situations like this. When I am expressing my least charitable thoughts and emotions about a person, I receive a subtle reminder about respecting the dignity of all human life. Even if I am not particularly fond of that individual, I can still treat that person as I would wish to be treated.

Although this Gospel brings to mind many instances in which I have failed to be a true disciple of Jesus, I am strengthened by the hope that comes with the feast day of the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. The role of these and the other angels of God is to act as intermediaries between God and humanity. It is encouraging to know that these angels act to guide me towards the right path, to communicate the will of God in my life, and to protect me from temptation and evil. Although I know I will continue to make mistakes, I remember that I am not alone. I can ask the angels to pray for me and bring me guidance, strength, and protection so that I may someday join in their heavenly chorus of praise to God.

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