The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Meditation is a wonderful means to allow God to speak to you, to listen to Him and to live a life where He, and only He, is the great navigator. It will not be a crowd that convinces me, nor a storm that influences me. It will be Christ that navigates me throughout my entire life. Life is short and I have only one chance to live it right. It is the Lord that allows me to do it right the first and only time. I know of no one, absolutely no one that placed their trust, their love and their life in His hands and did not come home to a hero’s welcome! Today is the feast day of St. Andrew Kim, a Korean martyr who suffered brutal tortures at the hands of a King. The King is a memory; the Saint lives on forever!
The Jews are the oldest people in the world that have suffered so much and so often and are still around today. Throughout their history they have been exiled and banished, only to resurface and rebuild again. Today’s passage from Ezekiel is a perfect reminder of what we must do when we are under the gun: we must build, and build to worship. Persecution is not a sign of God’s forgetfulness; it is a sign of fidelity. The Lord never forgets His people. We do! I know far too many Catholics who are constantly ridiculed or beaten down for their orthodoxy. It does not take a courageous person to be a heretic today. In fact, they often win the applause of the secular media and the awards of the music and movie industry. Today, in our modern world, only those who wish to know the Lord, love the Lord and serve the Lord run the risk of being put to death because of the Lord.
If you think you can live a good life without prayer, I want you to think again.
We can live without prayer, but it won’t be a good one, a surprised filled one, a holy one, a fully lived life! I am here to tell you the success stories of those who pray! This is what I hear all the time: “Father, I always feel better when I pray in the morning.” Or, “Father, I always seem to have a better day when I take the time to meditate on God’s word.”
The problem is not with starting. The problem is with starting over every single day! Prayer, like faith, must be renewed constantly. It can never be taken for granted. I must constantly remind myself of the consequences when I do not pray. How quickly I fall into temptation. How quickly I fall into despair. How quickly I fail to live up to my expectations. How quickly I lose my temper, my energy, my enthusiasm and my cheer. How quickly I run in the wrong direction.
Speaking to God is not difficult; listening to God is. We don’t like it when He speaks to us! How does He speak to us? Through sign language.
The Lord speaks to most of us through signs: painful experiences due to sin is one way the Lord grabs our attention. Witnessing sin or being the victim of sin is another way. Of course, the Lord speaks to us best through Scripture. It is remarkable how the Gospel speaks to me on a daily basis! It would be the same for you if you would do the same!
Just think for a moment how impossible life would be without air, water, food or love. Now you have an idea of what life is like for those who have no faith, no hope or love. This is what it means to live life without Jesus Christ.
The universe knew what to provide, it was designed by a great Designer!