Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

The time has come for the seniors to hear the message. To the graduating class, your time to open your wings is now here.  The days that are to follow this chapter in your life may have not become reality until your last final.

The relationships that you have at Gannon are now changed and there is an open field in front of you.  The daily routines that you have engaged in will now change what you do.

The days leading up to finals may be very stressful and indeed you will have many changes in your routine.

Each of us is placed on this earth for a purpose and discovering that purpose may take many years.  What takes the longest time to understand is this: what do I stand for? What is my passion and core belief?

There is an allegiance that we all swear to when we take on a cause or mission.    The early apostles took on allegiance with living the gospel message and teaching the life and words of Christ.

That living of the gospel message came with a tall order.  The apostles of our dear Lord stood up for what Jesus taught although they did not initially have that intention.

It was not until the encounter with the risen Christ took place that even the most hard-hearted Thomas would eventually lose his life over.

The early community of believers stood in the trenches opposing the injustices that were placed on the people because of the law.

It was the law that Jesus came to free them from, even at the cost of his life, and his followers would lose their lives for living the life of Christ.

The apostles took an oath when they accepted the mission of the Gospel and that was to live the truth, even if it means not being popular and being outcast.

Jesus was not concerned about popularity and having a position in the Roman government.  Jesus was concerned with a human encounter and with those who were marginalized, not with the powerful and influential.

Jesus would have probably lived to a ripe old age if he would have just complied with the powers of the day and, to coin a modern phrase, “played ball.”

Pontius Pilate took on allegiance to the Roman government and his reputation because, though in his mind and heart he knew that Jesus was “different” and had done nothing wrong, he was not willing to stand up for Jesus because it could start a riot and then Caesar would have held Pilate personally responsible for not resolving the issue so that it was pleasing to the masses.

That must have been a horrible encounter between Jesus and Pilate.  Jesus stood before Pilate bloodied and beaten.  Jesus must have looked like a mess and probably smelled too; after all he had been beaten up for hours.

Then came the taunts from the crowd: “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate is now in a situation that demands action.

What does Pilate do? Because in his heart and mind he has no cause, no real facts that Jesus is trying to overthrow the Roman Empire, which was the true worry of the government, he washes his hands and says, “I will give you the choice to make.”

That choice now falls on the people and Pilate is released from any blood that the actions of the crowds may cause.

Pilate felt it better to kill Jesus to appease the uproar of the masses than to stand up and say, “I will not crucify him.” He was scared of Caesar so he led “The One” to slaughter so he could save the many from a shadow.

There will be a time in your future when you will be in a position to stand up for truth.  I pray it is not this extreme, but it will happen.

Will you turn your head at an injustice because you finally got that job in the big law firm and you don’t want to create waves?  Will you be silent when someone is being wronged because everyone else is?

Listen to the words in the song “Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” before you choose.  May the Spirit of the Lord be upon you always.

 

ROB LOPEZ

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