Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

John 10:1-10 Cut To The Heart

John 10:1-10 Cut to the Heart

(Click here for readings)

Today’s readings are of the Good Shepherd. Christ is the Good Shepherd. The sheep hear his voice and they follow him because they recognize his voice. All of us have heard the voice of the Good Shepherd, but not all of us follow Him because not all of us recognize Him. Where are you Lord that I may follow you?

“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and proclaimed: ‘Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified’…Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart.” (Acts 2:14a, 36).

Cut to the heart is what every single Christian will achieve if they cut to the chase! Peter cut to the chase and what happened? About three thousand souls were added that day. Are they exaggerating? Is this just a lie? No, it is not. It is what will always happen if we preach the Gospel message effectively and allow the Lord to affect our lives! I have no intention here of writing an English paper on the proper use of affect and effect. But its proper use may be essential in the battle for the hearts and minds of millions of souls.

Authentic Discipleship. It may be argued that pastors and religious spend way too much time on social issues (war, abortion, marriage, poverty and climate) and not enough time on the original message: God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, the Son he loved with all his heart, with all his mind and with all his strength, for the salvation of the world. Whoever believes in Him will live forever. This is the message that cut through the stoniest of hearts. Those who were added in a single day were not naïve, nor were they ignorant. They were open to the truth; to a beautiful message of love, forgiveness and compassion. Who is not open to that? Have we tried to enter a sheepfold by climbing over the gate? Do I believe that the pressing issues of today will be resolved through philosophical agreement, scientific discovery or educational resources? Can the family be replaced? Can love be replaced? Can the God of Jesus Christ be replaced? No. Never! For as long as we search for life and joy, we will continue to search for the One who has both; the only One who has it abundantly.

The habit does not make the monk. Almost every day I receive phone calls from the emergency line at St. Joseph. Most of the time I am ready for them, but sometimes they come at awkward moments – like when I am exercising. In these rare cases, I sometimes opt to go to the hospital in my sweatpants. Well, on this one particular evening, I decided to dress in my uniform. I arrived at the hospital and it took me a while to find the building and the room. I finished the anointing and headed back to my car. Like so many times before, I got lost in the maze of hallways and tunnels and ended up on the opposite side of the parking lot. As I was shaking my head in my own lack of attention, I heard someone call out to me. I looked up and saw a woman running towards me. Her sister was dying and they had been looking for a priest all day. I followed her and saw a little angel, a thirty-three year old mentally challenged woman who was dying after having suffered a heart attack due to years of muscular dystrophy. The family was heartbroken. But I, along with them, knew she was an angel. The Lord always provides for his angels. “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall lack.”

I got lost for a reason and I was wearing my uniform for a reason. If I had not been wearing it I would have passed right by this woman in need. We should always wear our love for Christ in our heart and on our sleeves! The early Christians were easily recognizable – they lived what they believed.

When I arrived to the room the family was still waiting for one last family member, a brother, but after thirty minutes they felt uncomfortable that they were making me wait so long. They asked me if I should go ahead and perform the Last Rite. I wanted to leave but I told them, “Let’s wait.” They were so happy! I learned another good lesson from God.

What made the Apostles so successful? They communicated through their words and actions the God they loved so much! It was a convincing message. For three years they had had an intimate relationship with Christ and they would never allow themselves to forget what the Lord had done for them: Christ had died for them.

It was so natural for the Eleven to give a little bit back, and on this day, three thousand men were added. And that is no exaggeration.

Why were the Apostles so successful in bringing souls to Christ? Because they never forgot what the Lord had done for them. They wore it in their hearts and on their sleeves. Christ spoke from His heart, through their hearts and into the hearts of thousands. For this reason, all who heard believed, for they recognized the voice of God and the language of His love.


  1. “Have we tried to enter a sheepfold by climbing over the gate?”

    I’m not completely sure what you meant by this question, but after reading the Gospel yesterday, I had actually been thinking about the idea of climbing over the wall, or fence instead of going through the gate. I was thinking about how many times I have tried to bypass Jesus/God and do things my way or in my OWN TIME. It is pretty stupid on my part because I know that if I do it His way and in His time, all will go well and be as it should be, but sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit, I am impatient, I climb over the wall anyway and usually fall on my butt when I get to the other side.

    “I got lost for a reason and I was wearing my uniform for a reason.”

    This statement kept coming back to me as I reviewed some significant and even some subtle things that have gone in and out of my life or have been revealed to me at a particular time.

    It keeps me coming back to: God really does have a plan and He really does know what He is doing. Sometimes I feel like He’s playing chess and we are the pieces that He is moving around for His purpose. He thinks many moves ahead because everyone has to be in the right place at he right time.

    I have experienced significant people who have dropped in and out of my life at the perfect time. It has been exactly when I needed them, or they introduced me to the person I would need just before I needed them; they dropped in when I could help them or they dropped in just as someone else was dropping out. And the Lord has dropped information on me, at particular times and trusted me to do what He wanted with it.

    Most of the time, I don’t understand it all until It’s behind me and at those times, when I’ve done it “His Way”, I have peace and in the times when I look back and see that I climbed the fence and forwent Jesus, I feel regret, embarrassment or shame, although I do have another lesson to add to my resume. Hopefully I won’t repeat the same lesson.


  2. Just beautiful Father. The "uniform" that you and your fellow priests put on is 9 times out of 10 a huge welcome sight to many. Surely there are times you would rather be in street clothes so not to be called on continuously.
    All who know you are so happy when you give us your time Father - your gift is that you bring the love of Christ immediately to us. None of us can imagine the constant "call" you have to give of yourself. Let us all pray for our priests. That they may be empowered with extra divine energy to sustain and discern the constant demands and cries of a Christ hungry and needy world. And that they may experience Christ rewarding sacred heart each time they are obedient to this call to action to serve others. My friends in Christ.. if to only walk in the shoes of a priest...imagine the constant demand they must have. Please pray for them.


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