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

December 29th, 2013
Jayme Beukelman
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Today’s Gospel comes from Colossians 3:12-17. In this passage, Paul focuses on the character of the Christian, both in his or her individual faith and in the community. The grounding of one’s faith in “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (3:12) has the power to enrich the greater community and strengthen our relationships with one another. In his teaching, Paul explains that forgiveness is essential in our relationships: “forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another, as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do” (3:13). From past experiences, we may know how important forgiveness is to the health of relationships and in turn, the community. As we reflect on communities, we find a connection between this passage and today’s feast day of the Holy Family – a community of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. A family is a community and for some, it may be their closest community. Paul’s letter is especially fitting in how we show Christ’s love to all the communities in our lives – family, friends, work, school, and activities.

Throughout this letter, we are called to live a life of action. This means to see beyond Paul’s words and actually live out these words in our actions. This “faith in action” first begins in our hearts and spreads to touch others. It is from our hearts that we impact our community and share the love of Christ with our brothers and sisters. “Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body” and “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (3:15-16).  How truly wonderful it is to think of Christ dwelling within us, each of us as an embodiment of His boundless love. Showing Christ’s amazing love to all may not be easy at times, but we should not give up or grow weak. By showing love to our community, even those who have trespassed against us, we find our lives fulfilled and our spirits strengthened.

This passage is fitting as this year draws to a close and we look ahead to a new year of joys, challenges, goals, and experiences. Let us evaluate our lives and how we can incorporate Christ in our actions to grow in our faith and community. Our Christian faith reminds us that there is always an opportunity for change – it is never too late to grow in our faith or enter into a relationship with Christ. We embrace this newness and give thanks for the opportunity to evaluate and transform ourselves. What are your goals for 2014? Is Christ in your new year’s resolution? If not, how can you incorporate Christ in your goals for the new year? Or further, how can your goal benefit the greater community around you? Oftentimes, goals are personal and individual – how can your goal reach beyond yourself and positively impact your community?

This passage closes with these words: “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (3:17). These words bear close resemblance to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God), one of Creighton’s Jesuit values. Above all else, may we embody Paul’s letter in our actions and show God’s love to all His creation through actions that glorify God.

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