Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

How quickly the time has passed us by.  Can you remember when just yesterday we first came to campus?

For freshmen, you may be able to recall the first time you were on campus and the feeling you had when you were all alone for the first time.

Seniors, you are only a semester away from ending your career at Gannon and will soon begin a new chapter in your life.

The rest of the student body lies somewhere in the middle; perhaps you are not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life or maybe you know exactly what it is you want to do.

We are be preparing for one of the most grueling weeks in our college experience – finals week – and then it’s over for a month.

Christmas is right around the corner and we have the time to reflect on where we have been, where we are and where it is we are called to go.

Whatever it is that you will be doing I wish to present this reflection for you. It is the story of Jesus’ birth.

This story gives us the opportunity to look at the Holy Family in the light of ordinary people on a journey to somewhere they did not know.  All they did know was that they had to get there and the path was not easy at all.

It seemed like it fell into place so easily.  But think for a moment about the moment that Joseph and Mary were going through it.

What were they feeling and thinking?  There was certainly an uneasy feeling as the family went in search of a place to call home.  The family was in search of a place to feel safe and secure from the elements and the dangers that were most certainly there.

Not too different than what we experience.

In the moment when we are confronted with the uncertainties that life presents us, it would behoove us to remember that it is temporary and the moment will not last; the times of the uncertainties are going to end.

Looking back on the first day you came to Gannon, can you remember those specific concerns, fears or hopes and aspirations you may have had?  The Holy Family was in search of much of the same for their lives.

I can just imagine the way Joseph may have been wondering how he would provide for Mary.  The man Joseph is a wonderful example of a faith that I would do well to emulate.  There is a sense of a committed man who has accepted the Lord’s mission to care for the mother of the son of God and then to care for God’s own son.

What a charge to have for your life.  The funny thing that I found was that God gives us a glimpse into Joseph’s life and then he is gone.  Not another word about Joseph after the birth story. There is not any indication as to where Joseph was or what happened to him. And then, that quickly, he is gone.

It reminds me of the phrase, “This too shall pass.”

You may take that to the bank and cash it in because it is as good as gold.  Every moment is passing and fleeting, so please listen to that still voice in you that directs your heart to the good.

Gannon University is a small moment in the story of your life and just as the passing semester has gone by so, too, will the moments you are on the earth.  Like Joseph, we will fade from the human story.

That is only dull if we fail to see the purpose that we have to each other on a daily basis.

Christmas is a sign to humanity of something new to happen, a new creation for man and the hope for us to live eternally in God’s love.

This week when you are struggling to find that last bit of energy, look up and keep fighting because this is only temporary.

My prayer for you is that you will discover the joy of Christmas that lies in you. So have a safe and happy Christmas and new year and see the Lord Jesus in everyone around you. Then shine like the star that you are, leading others to a better place.

 

ROB LOPEZ

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