Commentary on the Gospel of

Beth Samson-Creighton University's Campus Ministry

"Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. "

Dear friends in Christ, my reflection today is on the optional readings for the Memorial of St. Blasé, Bishop and Martyr. The readings for this memorial can be found here.

“How many souls have you saved this week?”

My work in Campus Ministry at Creighton University primarily involves “accompanying undergraduate students into an ever-deepening relationship with a God who calls us to a life of love and service.” While I am not literally picking up serpents with my hands, my daily work involves proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed. 

Every week I have dinner with my friends, Faith and LaRue, and their two daughters, Juniper and Chamomile. LaRue likes to refer to me as “Campus Minister Beth”, and without missing a beat, every week he asks me, “How many souls have you saved this week?” Neither of us take the question as seriously as maybe we ought. How am I to know how many souls I saved, if any, this week? Is it I who is really doing the saving?

Maybe the question ought to be:

When did you proclaim the Good News this week?

How did you display God’s love in the world this week?

The answers to these questions are what I strive to do everyday – to be a vessel of God’s Love and amplifier of Truth. This is also what we are called to do in today’s Gospel. We are not called to do the saving – we are called to be bearers of the Light of God’s Love through the Gospel message wherever we find ourselves. We become co-workers with Christ.

These readings are specific to the Feast of St. Blasé. While we know little about his life, we do know that he was a physician and a bishop. He brought healing to the sick, as the line in the Gospel calls forth “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” St. Blasé sought to do the work of spiritual and physical healing. He was a co-worker with Christ and is now a saint in our tradition, becoming a companion and guide as we strive to labor alongside Christ.

Knowing that we are inspired and accompanied by St. Blasé, we are invited to consider the following questions for reflection today. With the experiences of God’s great Love for us, how are we being called forth? How are we vessels of God’s love and amplifiers of Truth in how we live our lives? How did we proclaim the Gospel in word and deed today?


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