Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

March 3, 2011

Marcus Dawson

3rd Year Law Student

Sir 42:15-25
Ps 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Mk 10:46-52

Sometimes it seems as if we are alone.  Some of us may have friends and confidants we can turn to when times are tough.  But many times, even if we are lucky enough to have people to rely on, it is not enough.  In my own life, this has been the case.  The thought always creeps into my mind because no one has lived my life.  Only I really know what I am feeling; I may understand what it is I’m going through, or I may not.  But at the end of the day, only I really know.  While others may have had similar experiences, or they may be willing to listen to my problems, they still do not know what it is like to be hurting because the pain is mine, not theirs.  And it is true; no one else has gone through the exact, specific experiences each individual has.  So really, how can they know what it is like?  At the end of the day, who is there for us?  How can they possibly know what it’s like?

In the first reading, though, God tells us in Sirach that he has been there with us.  In fact, he knows better than we do what we are going through, what it is we are feeling, and why we are feeling this.  “He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge.”  No matter what it is that I am going through, God says he has taken each step with us. For me, it could be school, friends, family, relationships, or even problems with my spiritual life.  But he’s been with us, not just seeing what is happening, but he’s there, on the inside.  He knows the pain in my own heart that I can’t even express.  This all sounds comforting, almost too good to be true.  And really, I’ve heard this before.  Do I really believe it, though?

Well, the answer comes down to faith.  Many times when I turn to God for support or help through a situation, I’m frustrated because I don’t actually hear or feel an answer.  The story of Bartimaeus, on the other hand, gives us the example to follow.  When Jesus healed this blind man, it wasn’t his disability that motivated Jesus to heal him.  No, it was Bartimaeus’ faith.  Bartimaeus’ faith made the difference between seeing Jesus for who he was, versus remaining in literal and spiritual darkness for the rest of his life. 

For me it is a combination of my pride and lack of faith that keeps me from the comforting, spiritual embrace of God.  My pride thinks that no one, not even God, understands my problems.  But Jesus walked in our shoes.  He experienced the love of others, the betrayal by his closest friends, the pain and ridicule of his passion, and even death.  Am I really so bold to think that the God who created the world, who is infinite, who experienced death, and even created me is so ignorant and far removed from me that he couldn’t understand my problems?  It’s time for me to really ask, 'who doesn’t understand whom?'  Jesus has been there, through both his own experiences, and he has walked with us, step by step, through ours.

Once I set aside my pride, though, I still must deal with faith.  Only by having a personal, intimate relationship with God will we be able to keep this comfort of God’s close at all times.  This requires us to take time out of our days for prayer to build communion with God.  Whether it is through reading the Bible, going to Mass more frequently, or contemplative prayer, we must strive to build our relationship with God or risk weakening it.  With a stronger relationship comes a stronger faith.  I have noticed this at times in my own life.  Even though it may not feel like anyone is with me, I know because of faith that God is there by my side. 

When I have learned to swallow my pride, grow in my faith, and trust God is really there with me, these problems that have pulled me down in life will not seem to be such a big deal.  Why is this? Because my priorities are in line.  My faith keeps things in perspective.  It keeps from losing sight of what is truly important.  And when our priorities are in their proper order, with God on top, then everything else will fall into place. While many times I fail to keep my priorities in order, when I am able to the result is a strong sense of peace in my life because God is with me regardless of what happens. 

Let us pray today that we will be able to really trust that God is with us, and that no matter what happens, we can set our priorities on the right track so that we can feel the peace God so desires to share with us.

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