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A Jesuit Catholic University
in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

February 5th, 2014
by
James Doyle
Bio| Email: JamesDoyle@creighton.edu

“And they took offense at him…He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

I have often asked myself what it was that moved some of the great martyrs of the Church to give up their lives for the Faith.  How was it that Maximilian Kolbe could stand toe-to-toe with the German commander of Auschwitz and ask to take the place of a condemned prisoner?  Can anything be compared to the courage of young Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio or St. Maria Goretti?  There is a long list of martyrs that runs through the twenty centuries of Christianity, and it is the blood of these martyrs that waters the seeds which will grow into the next generation of saints.  The crown of martyrdom is a glorious one, but when I read today’s Gospel, my stomach cringes, and I cannot help but pray, “Oh Jesus, have mercy on me for I too lack both courage and faith.”

Courage and faith may be the two virtues lacking most in the modern world.  We are afraid.  We fear what our friends might think if we hold them accountable for their actions.  We fear how the world might view us if we say a prayer in public or if we try to talk with a stranger about Jesus.  And most of all, we fear the invitation that we sense on our hearts to radical holiness.  We know that we are not content to merely rise each morning, go through our daily routine, look for a few fleeting moments to say a quick prayer and then go to bed, only to rise and repeat day after day after day.  But what if, one day, we did something different?  What if, just for a day, we listened to our heart and pursued that desire to do something radical for God?  What if, just once, we did not take offense at Him and instead truly listened to Christ knocking at the door of our heart?  He is there, day in and day out, always knocking.  In the past, He has always asked us, “Will you let me in?”  Now, though, His question has changed.  Now when He knocks, we hear Him ask, “Will you let me out?”

The Gospel message has to be proclaimed to everyone in our lives, and despite all our complaints and objections, Jesus has chosen us for the mission.  It has been entrusted to us.  Now we must respond.  He desires to use our gifts and our abilities in ways that we could never imagine, but if we give Him permission, we will be amazed at the things He will do through us.  Then we will not be offended by Him.  We will only be in love with Him.  He will not be amazed at our lack of Faith.  Rather, we will be amazed at its abundance.  We each must move forward to the people in our lives who desperately need to hear the Gospel message and preach it to them.  We must speak Christ’s words, carry on His work, and always strive to walk in His footsteps whether the scribes and Pharisees of today approve of our actions or not.

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