Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

of Creighton University's Online Ministries

December 4th, 2008

Patrick Carter

Junior; Justice and Socity Major, Enviromental Public Policy and Spanish Minors

Is 26:1-6
Ps 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a
Mt 7:21, 24-27

The first reading today suggests political, social, and cultural “issues” in the United States and around the world – immigration, racial superiority, and classism. In America, plans to confront this “issue” are carelessly thrown across political and social boundaries. However, the legislation, speeches, and debates, regardless of one’s position on the topic of immigration, are negligent of caring for the individuals who are on the other side of the border. There are plans to build a wall across this border, however we have already set up “walls and ramparts” around our hearts that prohibit us from understanding that immigration is not a political issue to be debated. Rather, it is a matter of justice for our neighbors. If the person living next door or down the hall is my neighbor, why wouldn’t the family down the street, or the couple across town, or the child in a neighboring state also be my neighbor? What then prohibits me from extending this neighborliness to the person across a human-made border?

Maybe the people on the other side look different, or maybe they speak a different language, eat different food, wear different clothes, or listen to different music. These do not prevent us from loving our family member who does not like the same food or a friend who has different tastes in music. What then prevents us from loving and welcoming presence of the people across a border?

We are currently preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of Jesus into our lives. We are trying to make our hearts malleable and open to the love of Jesus that we will be celebrating in several weeks. We are trying to clear our hearts of obstructions or walls that will inhibit Jesus’ coming. In working to welcome Jesus are we not welcoming someone who lived a life different than our own? Jesus did not listen to Bruce Springsteen, wear sweatpants made in China or Lesotho, go to college, enjoy eating pasta, or have white skin. However, none of these limit my wanting and desire to reach out to him and be moved by him. Therefore I too should not have barriers in my heart to people from different nations. In fact, it is our Christian responsibility to treat others as if they were Christ. When we think of ourselves above another person, race, ethnicity, faith, or nationality we will be “humbled by God.” However, when we have disintegrated the walls of hearts, as we do for Jesus during Advent, for people who are different, the poor, and the foreign, Jesus will open wide the gates on the border of heaven.

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