Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

November 11, 2011

Mandy Widegren

Sophomore, Biology Major, Pre-Dental

Wis 13:1-9
Ps 19:2-3, 4-5ab
Lk 17:26-37

One bitterly cold day Saint Martin of Tours came across a half-naked beggar shivering in the cold. Many people had passed this man, and seen him shivering, but no one had stopped to help him. Moved with compassion, Martin used his sword to cut his cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar to keep him warm. Martin was not owned by his possessions; he was able to leave them behind in order to help a stranger. And from this he came to know Christ more deeply – that very night he had a dream in which he saw Christ wearing the half of the cloak he gave to the man.

Today’s reading in Wisdom says, “all men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God”. To have true wisdom, then, you must know God. But do we really know God? Or do we let things get in the way? Wisdom continues, saying, “though they seek God and wish to find him…[and] they search busily among his works, they are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair”. Do we get distracted by the things of this earth: our belongings, our attitudes, our wealth? It’s easy to get distracted by the things of this earth, but we are called today to be like St. Martin of Tours. We need to be willing to leave things behind that may distract us from gaining a life with God - whether it be our material goods, or our ideas and prejudices. Leaving things behind is hard. It is difficult to think about parting with the comforts of this life. But these distractions prevent us from knowing Christ deeply. And, to put it in perspective, you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse – you can’t take your ‘stuff’ with you after you die, so why treat these material goods like they’re incredibly important? Today we are called to question, what in this life is distracting us from knowing God? How might giving up these belongings help us strengthen our relationship with Christ? And how can I incorporate the actions of St. Martin of Tours into my own life?

Sometimes it seems that living a life of sin is a lot easier than living a Christ-like one. But what would happen if the Lord came down from heaven right now and passed judgment on us all? Like in the Gospel reading today, our Lord's last coming will be something sudden and unexpected; it will catch many people unprepared. God isn’t going to warn us. He’s not going to say, “Hey everyone! I’m coming next week so you should probably all go to confession and stop sinning”. And since we don’t know when our last day on this earth is, and we don’t know when the Lord will come, shouldn’t we live everyday like it was our last? Shouldn’t we walk away from our sinful lives? The Gospel’s teaching has an urgency about it, Jesus is telling us that we need to examine our actions now so that the Lord can call on us when we least expect it. The people during Noah’s time were going about their sinful lives until the floods came and they died without repentance. The same with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. God loves us so much that he doesn’t want that to happen to us! He wants us to change our ways so that when judgment does comes, we don’t have to suffer like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Today’s Gospel is calling us to reexamine our lives and our actions. It is calling us to stop leading a sinful life. And it is calling us to instead be an example of Christ’s steadfast love and kindness.

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