Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

June 19, 2012

Sam Pierre

3rd Year Medical Student

1 Kgs 21:17-29
Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 11+16
Matt 5:43-48

“Umm…no.  It sounds like that’s something you should read up on and report back to us about.”  As a third year medical student, I am quizzed by my residents and attending physicians throughout the day on anything from patient information to pathophysiology of disease processes.  All too often, my answers fall short of their extensive knowledge and I hear that very phrase informing me that my idea is inadequate and I should study that topic before trying to answer again.

Choking down harsh criticism of my medical knowledge, the very education that I have dedicated my life to pursuing and will depend on for a living, is an acquired skill.  Luckily, third year of med school is an extensive lesson in humility.  I have needed to practice suppressing my immediate internal feeling of taking offense to their responses.  I’ve learned the hard way to avoid defending my answer.  In short, I have needed to interpret their criticisms as positive suggestions.

Today’s first reading depicts Ahab’s remarkable humility to God’s rebuke.  Rather than taking offense, defending himself, or rebelling further against God, Ahab takes the reprimand humbly, recognizes his error, and grows from it.  Not only is it important for us to emulate this characteristic in our worldly interactions, but more significantly, in our relationship with God.

In our attempts to humbly accept and grow through God’s corrections to our behavior, it is key to remember that God’s judgment is meted out equally (as Jesus explains in the Gospel today).  He’s not picking on us; he’s loving us and drawing us closer to him.  Along with the judgment, thankfully, comes God’s unfailing mercy.  Therefore, part of humility is accepting that he wishes to shed his blessings on us even when we are turning away from him.

What aspects of our lives might God be trying to reproach?  What sins are we committing or good deeds are we omitting that he may be trying to bring to our attention?  When we recognize that God’s rebuking our habits or lifestyles either through prayer or in conversation with trusted others, how do we react?  Finally, how do we let God love us through his mercy?

As a personal example, while you read this reflection on June 19, I am flying out for the Dominican Republic where other Creighton health care students and I will be spending 5 weeks serving the medical needs of the locals in the rural campos.  As I work to serve significantly less fortunate people, I know that God will challenge me to learn from their simplicity and allow myself to be changed.  The bottom line is whether my degree of humility will make me open to God’s molding.

Join me in accepting the challenge to deepen our humility in order to allow our Creator to better form and utilize us.

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