Saturday, April 4, 2015

Reflection for Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Saturday

“Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees of every kind, and trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And so it was.” (Genesis 1:11) “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:28)
“then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Genesis 2:7-8) “And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2: 22)

These scriptures give a glance into the two different creation stories that emerge from Genesis. In the first, God creates the world and all that is in it and then proceeds to make man and woman. In the second, God first makes Adam and then creates all the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and, seeing that Adam is lonely, creates Eve. I think many times when people read these two separate accounts of creation, they get confused, and either choose to believe one or neither of them. Especially for people new to Christianity, finding two contradictions within the first two chapters can be disheartening. Often we forget that the world was a very different place tens of thousands of years ago when the first stories in the Bible were first being passed down. There was no written communication everything was by word of mouth. Each village or tribe of people would have story tellers who recounted the stories of how things came from memory. These story tellers learned from the story tellers before them and before them and so on. The repetition in the first creation story “Then God created… and He saw that it was good.” Is proof of this and gives insight into the use of repetitive language to help remember. There is really no way of knowing how the world was created and which, if either, of the two stories is the right one. But really is it a matter of how we got here or that we are here? Should we be putting so much focus on the how of our creation or the now of God’s presence with us? On this very Holy Saturday of the Easter season, I think it is easy for us to get caught up in remembering the Passion of our Lord and waiting in anticipation and hope for him to rise again on Easter Sunday. There is nothing wrong with this as remembering and celebrating is what the Easter season is about and is the concept around which Christianity was formed, but what else can we do to respond to the Jesus that is here, now, right in front of us? As a college student, the first thing that comes to mind is inviting others who may not attend church to go to the Easter vigil mass. Even the smallest things can invite Jesus to be a part of our lives here and now. Whatever it is, however insignificant you might think it to be, try it! Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”

Jonathan Meinhardt majors in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering..

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Reflection for Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday

Imagine yourself at the last supper with the apostles when Jesus takes bread and proclaims it to be His body, and then takes wine and turns it into His blood. After doing this, He tells you, along with the apostles, that you are to “do this in remembrance of me.” How would you feel to be in that room? Would you understand the symbolism in what He was doing?

Keep that scene in you mind as you consider the gospel acclamation and the gospel story for today. In these, Jesus not only falls to His hands and knees and washes the feet of those with Him, but He also reminds us to “love one another as I have loved you” and to “wash one another’s feet [because] I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” In these moments, Jesus is giving us the model of servant leadership. He is literally giving of Himself at the last supper, and he is humbling Himself before us as He washes the apostles feet.

Many of us have spent the past few weeks fasting, sacrificing various items, or doing good deeds in order to grow closer to God and to be in solidarity with Jesus Christ as He makes the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. However, in these readings we are reminded of our call to minister to the Church and “proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes again.” At no point in that directive did Jesus tell us to proclaim His name until Lent was over. Instead, this was a call that we must answer everyday.  While some days we might do better than others, everyday we must take up our crosses and join our brothers and sisters in Christ, as we wash the feet of those around us and continue in the efforts that we began about 40 days ago when we made our Lenten promises.

Katelyn Seroka is a Senior from Avon Lake, OH majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and minoring in Catholic Studies and Special Education.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reflection for Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday of Holy Week

“Answer me” is the final part of today’s responsorial psalm: “Lord, in your great love, answer me.” Then, the Gospel features the Last Supper and Jesus’ announcement that one of the apostles will betray Him. Judas, along with the others present, asks “Surely, it is not I, Rabbi?” and waits to hear what Jesus responds. 
Reflection and self-evaluation are themes during Lent, and questions play a big role in both of these. But who are these questions directed to? Have you ever said the words “Answer me” to someone? A parent might say these words to a child who does not want to answer a question. An anxious student or employee might think these words as they stare at the computer screen and await an important email. Have you ever said these words to God?
I seek confirmation and affirmation daily, especially from peers and friends. “Did you think that test was difficult?” Or, as I recount an exchange from the day, “Do you think I did the right thing?” Usually I know what my own thought is, and I want to check to see if another agrees.
On other occasions, I keep things to myself. I might ask, “Don’t you think what So-and-so did is annoying (mean, weird, etc.)?” Framed a certain way, my confidant will likely agree with me. I may (knowingly or unknowingly) paint the picture in a self-flattering way, without acknowledging my own insecurities and biases. If painted in honesty, the answer is probably that I am the one with a problem.     
I think I would benefit from directing more of my questions, especially the tough ones, to God. 
Judas asks, “What are you willing to give me?” to the chief priests. In contrast, the Psalm reminds us that “The LORD hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.” 
My prayer is to remember to turn to God constantly, even if just to say “What?” or “Why?” And then, I pray for patience, as I plead, “Lord, in your great love, answer me.” 

Stephanie Kaefer is a Junior in the College of Education and is involved on campus in the Micah Program and SLU Students for Life.