Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

May 18, 2011

Hunter Allen

Freshman, Business Management Ethics Major,
Pre-Med Track

Acts 12:24-13:5a
Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8
Jn 12:44-50

Today we are presented with a unique Gospel, one that may provoke a great sense of fear, especially in the lines, “Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day.” (John 12:48)  By all means, we naturally should be instilled with some sense of nervousness by such words, words from the mouth of our loving Christ.

But as much as there is to fear, there is even more not to fear, for Christ “did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”  I think the nature of our worries comes from the pure essence of being human: we each have done wrong, and we each know it.  It’s as if the more we examine ourselves and try to become closer to God, the farther we fall away.  We might be faced with the questions: How can God ever forgive me?  If my life were to end right now, would I be able to enter into God’s Heavenly Kingdom?  What good can ever replace the bad?

Think back to your childhood, specifically to an event in which you got in trouble.  For me, it was getting caught cheating on a third-grade spelling test.  I remember that weekend very clearly: no TV, no fun and games outside, no fun and games inside, no fun at all.  It was two solid days of reading, writing, and time out.  And during one of those periods of sitting alone in my room, the sad thought “Do my parents still love me?” popped into my mind.  I thought, ‘if they did, we’d be riding bikes right now, or playing a card game, or going out for ice cream.  I did it.  I failed.  And now, I will never be loved again.’

I am sure that some of you have had similar thoughts; we wish we didn’t, but sometimes that notion cannot be overlooked.  The same happens in our spiritual journeys: we realize that we have done bad, and we become inundated by guilt, a guilt that seems to rip us from God’s presence.  Worse, it seems that such times are more frequent than our childhood mishaps, so a new questions arises: How many times do we have to sin for God to say, ‘That’s it, it’s over!’?

Easy answer: never.  It is NEVER too late for God, absolutely never.  God is a Being of understanding, a Being of unconditional love, a Being of divine truth and promise.  While we think that when we notice our wrongdoings we separate ourselves from God, the opposite is rather true.  By noticing our sin, God senses our yearning to become closer to him, and closer we become.  Some of the best advice I ever heard—as simple as it is—was to remember:

  1. God ALWAYS loves me.
  2. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light.
  3. With God, I am NEVER alone.

Part of being human is embarrassment, and it is exactly what we get when our weaknesses are placed in the spotlight.  But God is different.  God always returns a warm smile.  God always says the two words that we often struggle with: “I forgive.”  God is always there to welcome us into his Kingdom and always will love us in a way that we cannot understand.  Thanks be to God.

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