Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

February 24th, 2008

Sara Brabec

Senior, Theology Major, Justice and Peace Studies Minor

Ex 17:3-7
Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Rom 5:1-2, 5-8
Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

As I worked my way through the first reading, I was humbled to realize that I could identify with the majority of the Israelites, who cried out, uncertain to whether or not God was in their midst. I recalled the semester I spent abroad and the many times during it when I asked the same questions that the Israelites asked of God: “What am I doing here? Are you even here with me/us, God? Why are you so invisible right now? I am lost and wandering in this desert and don’t know how to know that you are here. Despite the fact that you have made yourself visible to me many times before, please, show me again.”

It would be comforting to identify with Moses, the hero of a story, but it is also realistic to identify with the characters that struggle and doubt. The conclusion to the second reading affirms that God understands that we don’t always get things right; nonetheless, the Son took on human flesh and sacrificed himself for us. The passage seems to say, “When you come to see your failures, do not worry that this means you are ineligible for my love. I knew who you were and what I was doing when I sacrificed myself for you.”

When we challenge ourselves to examine our lives, God’s presence is clear: God is present in the child living across the street, the woman living next door, the homeless man taking a break from the cold in the Church, the classmate who challenges us to see from a different perspective, the roommate offering a late-night chat; what is at stake is whether or not we allow ourselves to see and respond to that presence.

Responding to God’s presence is what the Psalm addresses: “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” The writer reminds us of the struggles of the Israelites at Massah and Meribah and calls us to have more faith in God’s presence in the world than they did. The Psalm encourages us to allow our hearts (and after that, our actions) to be moved by a reality we might already accept as true in our minds: that God is present in this world, accompanying our journeys (collective and individual) at all times. The Gospel provides us with an example of a woman of faith who influences the lives of those around her. She sees Jesus for who he is, rather than writing him off as a foreigner (which is was). So convinced of the presence of God in the prophet she meets at the well, she tells those in her community about the man she met; they also come to believe.
We can be that person of witness for others. Sometimes, we will need someone else to be that person for us, pointing out God’s presence in the world. Ultimately, however, we are all created in God’s love and we are made to respond to that love through our interactions with the created world.

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