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

December 15th, 2013
Kaitlin Mullen
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Today’s readings focus on the Lord’s coming and spreading the good news of God. Clearly, these readings are very relevant to the current season, and the anticipation that surrounds Christmas. For college students, the Christmas season is not only highly anticipated for the sake of celebrating the holiday, but also the end to a semester. This time of year is usually associated with much celebration, joy, and happiness. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to get to celebrate in the traditional way with home-cooked food and gifts.  In fact, for some people, this time of year is not much different than any other. Today’s readings remind us that we must reach out to those in need and celebrate with them through doing the works of the Lord, and spreading good news.

The first reading today reminded me of one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. This song reminds listeners that not everyone is fortunate enough to celebrate Christmas with a snow-covered lawn, a good meal, and presents. One line in particular really illustrates this point, which states, “The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life.”  Every year when this song comes on the radio, I am always struck by this line, because life is the greatest gift that we all have every year, but it is rare that we take time to really appreciate it.  The first reading today reminds us that we must, “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you.” (Isaiah 35:3-4). In order to do this, we must remember that our greatest gift is the life we have been given, and we must share with others the joy, hope, and happiness that the Lord has given us, which provides ourselves and others a reason to celebrate.

Today’s second reading and the Gospel discuss having patience while waiting for the coming of the Lord and the kingdom of Heaven. When it comes to Christmas time, waiting can be very difficult, whether one is waiting for the end of the semester or Christmas day. However, we are instructed, “You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:8). While it may sound strange that we must “make our hearts firm” at this time of year, we must understand this to mean making our hearts firm in our faith. Through doing this we are better able to wait in joyful hope for the Lord’s coming. Additionally, we do not wait patient idly, but look to what the prophets did, and follow the example of their work, by spreading the good news to all.

Matthew 11:4-5 states, “Jesus said to them in reply, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.’” In this reply, Jesus not only discusses all of the good that is happening, but makes John’s disciple Jesus’ own messenger, who is sent out to spread the word. We are all John’s disciple that questions, “ ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’ ” (MT 11:3), and we are the ones who Jesus tells to go out and tell report the good news.

The final lines of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” repeatedly instruct, “Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time.” Through these readings, we are being told to “Feed the world” through celebrating and spreading the word of the Lord’s merciful compassion and love for his people.

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