Campus Ministry and the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality have teamed up to offer an examen for our community each week. This invitation is an opportunity to go deeper into a shared text and consider how our mission and Jesuit values guide our work together here at Fairfield and beyond. Each week, a different member of the Campus Ministry or Murphy Center staff will provide a text for us. Video of the reflection can be found on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
From Rev. Jay Glover, Protestant Chaplain
The Covid-19 pandemic has evicted us from the normalcy of our lives. The way we worship, fellowship, work, learn, and communicate have been substantially changed. The good news is that we, by the grace of God, remain hopeful in the midst of uncertainty.
The Apostle Paul offers these words:
Romans 12:12 (NIV)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
To embrace hope means: “to anticipate with a confident expectation.”
Brian Massingale, writes: “Hope is the expectation of a new future” He says “Hope is the belief that things can and will be radically other than how they are now.”
Our hope for a brighter tomorrow, allows our hearts and minds to joyfully transcend the paralyzing grips of our current struggle.
Our hope allows us to be resurrected from despair. Not only do we have a confident expectation of a better tomorrow, but we also have the presence of God with us today. As a person of faith I believe that God does not take us out of the struggle, but I believe that God enters into our struggle and walks with us, talks with us, strengthens us and leads us along our journey.
And for this reason we can be, as the Apostle Paul says we are to be “patient in affliction.”
When we hear the word “patient” we often associate patience with “waiting.” But I want to let you know that a closer look at the language of the text reveals that being “patient” in affliction, doesn’t mean to simply wait for things to go away. No we are called to persevere. It means that we are to bravely endure in and through our affliction with wisdom and faith.
Being patient in affliction is a God given grace. It is by the grace of God that in the midst of a pandemic that we see people rising to help one another. Brave people who look beyond their own needs and are willing to give of themselves for the betterment of their neighbor. Patient in affliction means to bear one another’s burdens and sorrows, serving one another, and pressing on in unity, till we reach the other side.
So I am joyful in hope, because there is no darkness that has come upon us that is able extinguish the light of hope. There is a light of hope that is visible within this community. Hope has been demonstrated by the people in this community. This community has gathered together in a way that demonstrates that is it possible for Gods will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The Apostle Paul also encouraged us to be “faithful in prayer.” Prayer means so much to us. Prayer is often thought of as us talking to God. And yes we certainly do that. What a privilege we have to carry everything to God in prayer. We can express to God our innermost concerns, our highs our lows and even our weirdo’s. We can tell God of our greatest concerns, our fears, our burdens, sorrows and our joy. But we can also in our reflective moments in prayer hear from God. God graciously speaks to us as we engage in a two-way dialogue that we call prayer time. So be encouraged today to continually attend to a time of prayer. We are strengthened in our pray as we speak to God. I encourage us all to listen closely as God speaks to us. -Amen