Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

February 13, 2011

Sam Pierre

2nd Year Medical Student

Sir 15:15-20
Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
1Cor 2:6-10
Mt 5:17-37 or 5:2-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37

“If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you…” -Sirach 15:15

God’s laws lay out a choice for us.  The beautiful consequence of God’s gift of free will is that we can literally choose to lead a life following our Creator or we can turn away from him.  Man’s choice is not a hypothetical one either; “whichever he chooses shall be given him,” (Sirach 15:17). I can’t help but wonder what astounding compassion and love it takes for God to give us that choice.

It’s the promise that comes with that choice that I all too often overlook.  “They will save you,“ carries with it no uncertainty.  The second reading entices us further with a mention of “what God has prepared for those who love him,” (1 Cor 2:9).  That motivation is fantastic for me.  Around my twelfth hour of studying on a Saturday for a medical school exam, I often need to depend on long-term motivations to keep my nose to the grindstone.  Being able to provide for my future family and the opportunity to serve patients at their most vulnerable times are two of my academic motivations. On the spiritual side, spending some time pondering Heaven, the reward God has waiting for us, provides me with a great deal of excited anticipation and determination to keep his commandments.

While earning my degree in psychology, my professors taught the difference between parenting styles and their effects on children’s lives.  Our Heavenly Father’s way of presenting his “rules” to us is the most loving and nurturing method.  He lays them out plain and simple, offers explanations when necessary, and provides an incentive, rather than a threat for adhering to his commandments.  I believe that this is similar to how it is with my own parents; I don’t often notice the wonderful rearing they provide until I actually think about it with an objective perspective.  Similarly, it’s rare that I take the time to realize God’s unwaveringly sympathetic and positive support.  Today’s readings are a beautiful reminder of his magnificent “parenting style.”

I invite you today to interact with God with the recognition of him as a loving parent, enthusiastically encouraging us to follow his commandments and eagerly anticipating the rewards he will bestow on us for doing so.

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