From a Creighton Student's Perspective
November 28, 2010
2nd Year Medical Student
On behalf of the entire Student Daily Reflections staff, I would like to warmly welcome you back and thank you for your interest in continuing this beautiful ministry! Could there be a more fitting time for us to reinvigorate our shared spiritual walk as we enter Advent?
Advent is a time of preparation for the celebration of welcoming Jesus into our world (and our hearts) on Christmas day. I consider it no coincidence that the Gospel on the first day of Advent is a reminder that we will meet God “at an hour we do not expect” (Matthew 24:44) and that we should be prepared for that moment. I have the tendency to pretend that although I have a close relationship with God and He guides my life, I have plenty of time before I meet Him face to face. If you are like me in forgetting the warning in today’s Gospel, Advent serves as a wonderful preparation each year to prepare to meet God. In this way, Jesus’ reminder in today’s Scripture serves to reinforce the necessity for us to reevaluate our relationships with God and those around us. Where there are conflicts or hard feelings, will we put today’s readings into action and seek reconciliation with that person or with our God?
To address the need for readiness to meet God, we turn to the first and second readings. Those readings today are a wake up call and subsequently a call to action, both of which revolve around growing in peace. First, the Church’s welcome to Advent serves as a reminder of God’s desire for us to come to Him in repentance. Paul’s words in the second reading are our wake up call to recognize and react to the sins that we commit. When we are ready to “throw off the works of darkness” (Romans 13:12) we need to humbly approach God in Confession. At least for me, celebrating Reconciliation is a sacrament that I often put off. My appreciation for the Sacrament flourishes when I stop and consider what an incredible gift it is that God offers us complete and unrestricted forgiveness for the numerous times we turn away from Him. There is no better way to quickly and profoundly reunite oneself with Christ than to participate in confession.
Our call to action comes in the first reading, which daily serves as the focal reading in each of the Scriptures throughout Advent. After coming to peace with God through Reconciliation, we are called to be at peace with those around us. That may involve offering the same forgiveness that God so readily offers us. The reading from Isaiah explicitly encourages us to “beat [our] swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4). I, for one, am all too prone to brandishing a “sword” before peacefully working alongside my fellow man. If I am truly honest with myself, I admit that I usually do not have an actual substantial reason for disliking or disrespecting the people that I do. Coming to terms with that understanding helps me realize the fickle nature of “drawing a sword” against them and aids in my acceptance and support of those people. This step is a necessary and important one during our Advent journey. What ways can we share peace with those around us today?
Together let us make this Advent preparation one of peace with God and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
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