Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

I am in the midst of a major transition in my life and had the opportunity to spend some very special moments with a dear friend who has terminal cancer.

Initially I was not sure what I would say or how to go about saying it.

I kept remembering the moments that we spent together over the years in a very clear and vivid way.  The smells and sounds were just like they were happening again.

As he lay in his bed and we talked, many thoughts crossed my mind.  Where would I be if I had not met him? How can I ever thank him? What does he think about? Is he OK with dying?

When a person has a major impact and positive influence in your life that person becomes a source of strength and inspiration.

Where do you find the face of God?  Can you see it in the outcast and suffering?  Can you see it in the face of your roommates and family?  Can you see it in the face of the person you like the least?  How about the man who killed the innocent children at the school?

How do you see God in the face of “those” people?  Well let’s look first of all at the incarnation.

The Lord came to be born of man to save him from an eternity that separates us from our creator.

Jesus came, born of woman, and lived as a man of the earth to bring us everlasting life.

I can’t give the answer for the questions that are above, but I can give insight in the way in which you can see the face of God.

We are so self-centered and selfish we need only put our face on that other person.

Look at that for a moment – or perhaps it is too ugly to look at – but it is the way we can begin to understand why Jesus came and how we can find the path to understanding.

Jesus hung on the cross to bring you and me freedom from death, death of the soul and also death of the life that we are given.

Now, how can we bring that to Gannon, to you and me on a daily basis?

If you see the life we live in terms of a temporary place, a place that is a transition into the life to be, then we can be a bit more aware of the importance to be Jesus for each other.

My friend who lies in his bed and waits on the call home understands that his life lived in these last days of suffering is the face of the suffering Christ. It is precisely the call of Christianity and the long life to be with the father.

The suffering is the key. That, by the way, doesn’t mean I am going to seek out suffering.  The call is a necessary means to the end of glory. Why so?

The roommate, the friend, the parent who is suffering is a face to recognize as Jesus.

I am certain that if presented in that way we would be hard pressed to find someone of faith who would deny the work.

If I can look at the daily situations of life in a light that sends that message it will make the walk a bit easier.

We all have a cancer in us, but it may be any number of things and that has a whole batch of problems with it.

It is hard to look at our lives that way but it can free us from the anxiety of daily troubles.

When I visit with my friend, the so-called “big” problems don’t seem to have much weight.

When we look at the temporary visit that we are now involved in on earth it may make those little issues a little easier to shed.

If I put myself in the shoes of the suffering person, and if I take time to look deeply in the eyes of Christ when he reaches out his hand, then I may soon be able to move closer to seeing the face of God in the worst person I know.

Christ stretched out his hand for you and me and we each have the goodness of God in us.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself in the place of one of the suffering people and see the face of Christ looking back at you saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.”

 

ROB LOPEZ

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