Finding God on Gannon’s Campus
There is a wonderful Gospel message this week that makes it hard to buy into “Solo Scripture.”
If I would buy into it I must admit I would have no limbs or eyes because Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna.”
Hold up. Jesus, if you know we are sinners and you know we will always be sinners then why would you tell us to start dismembering ourselves to stop from sinning? So, we have an issue with viewing this verse in the literal sense. We must add reason to the equation and come up with an answer.
Well, perhaps we must go back a bit and see what the second reading is telling us. The theme is addressing the corruption and the misuse and abuse of the power and gifts given to us on earth. The second reading shows us that the child in the Gospel is represented by the subject of the teaching in the second reading, “you have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.”
There is a tall order that we need to be aware of in the message and there is a great responsibility that accompanies that mission.
Looking toward the community at Gannon, we may not initially be able to unwrap this seemingly odd instruction. How does chopping off fingers and poking out eyes apply to us? Thankfully we are not instructed to do so; in fact it would be grievous to do so.
The vocation we are called to brings with it the weight of the entire world in a very real way. The vocation we are called to is one that must be respected and fostered with much care. We must be able to be open to the movement of the spirit of God working among us.
The duty we have to each other is tremendous when we see that the persons entrusted to our care rely on what we say and are formed by our words and actions.
If you are thinking globally, such as a president would, that’s good but it is directed to you first — the position you have as a leader of a group, fraternity, sorority or student government leader, or as you, the student that has none of those positions. You and I are called to be Jesus for each other.
Don’t think for one moment that we must have an office to affect people in a very profound and deep way. The time we take to listen to someone who may be in need of that shoulder to cry on is being Jesus for one another.
I can speak from personal experience on this subject; it is not the office that makes the person, it is the person that makes the office. It is us working for each others’ best interests that is leading others to be better people and becoming closer to Jesus, not the title we carry behind us.
The fortunate ones who have a title and try to make a difference are the ones who get it. The elections are coming up very soon and the candidates have to make real decisions that can lead us to a better place or perhaps a worse place. We also have an obligation to be informed and cast our votes to our part in helping others. We are very fortunate to be able to vote in this country without any worry of being killed or kidnapped.
We need to have our voices heard and the people who are running need to lead with good and pure intentions. Those who are running for positions on campus or perhaps looking to build that resume should remember the duty that comes with the office and stand by the truth of the Gospel message.
We will also make decisions that will lead others; we have an obligation to bring Jesus to everyone and to be a help for our neighbors. The idea of leading a child into danger is unthinkable, yet this is what Jesus is saying we need to be aware of when we instruct others and are leaders for our community.
Take time to reflect on what the words of God mean to us. Remember this, “Heavy is the hand that wears the crown.”
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