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!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jn 5:17-30 Loving Without Lying

Jn 5:17-30 Loving Without Lying

(Click here for readings)

Jesus answered the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life…Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.”

Not too long ago, I spoke to an RCIA group regarding the significance and sacredness of the Mass; why we worship the way that we do. I ended my talk by telling them the story of a brochure I found, produced by an evangelical church, outlining ten reasons why some people do not go to Church. I agreed with the Church's “reasons” but I disagreed with their solutions. The solutions included such things as "Rock’em, Sock’em music", live skits, soft comfortable chairs, and other extravagant things. I told the RCIA group, “Don't you think that the Catholic Church would have invested in all of the above tactics long ago if it was convinced that this was the best and long term solution to boredom and to sin? We know it is not."

A member of RCIA, who I greatly admire, raised his hand and pointed out the danger of being self-righteous when discussing issues of faith with people from other denominations. We have to be careful not to be arrogant. I could not agree with him more. In fact, I would have gone even further and said, “Be careful when discussing issues of faith with members of your own faith!” But then he got me thinking when he said that we should never compare ourselves to others; and as a priest once reminded him, “We love everyone.”

What I love about RCIA members is that I always learn a lot from them. What I love even more about them is that they help me to reflect even more on my own vocation.

What does it mean to "love everyone?" Does it mean lying to everyone? Unfortunately, I am beginning to think so. That’s right. When I can’t share the Good News with others out of fear of insulting them or offending them or hurting them, then I end up sharing no news with everyone, and that is bad news for Jesus Christ.

Kirk Cameron, the former teen idol turned famous Christian actor, recently appeared on MSNBC's "Today Show" to clarify some statements he made regarding homosexuality. When asked what he thought about it, he simply said, “I think that it is unnatural. I think that it is detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” Ann Curry, the star of this program, said his comments were “hurtful”.

Really? Would it have been best to not have said anything at all? Would that have been more loving?

Kirk Cameron is now being called an “extremist” by many in the homosexual industrial complex. Mind you, they do not consider their comments to be “hurtful” in the least. So my question to them is, “How should he have conveyed his opinion without being ‘hurtful’ but still honest?

Is it possible to love everyone without lying to everyone?

Jesus said, “Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.”

These are some hurtful words. But they do not begin to compare to the pain that will be suffered by those who do not follow the Lord’s advice. Would we say that the Lord did not transmit love in his statement? I wouldn’t. I would consider his warning to be very warming, too warming in fact. Or maybe he should not have mentioned this at all. Is no news better than bad news? Are we so civilized that we must now hear only what we want to hear? How unfortunate for our civilization!

If we call ourselves Christians, then we have been called to share the Good News with others, especially with those who disagree with us. If we have been called to share the words of Jesus Christ with others, then we have also been called to share in His life; which means, we have been called to be hated and persecuted like Him.

Kirk Cameron put himself into the frying pan by answering Connie’s question honestly and lovingly. I know how he feels. It would have been so much easier for him to just have shut up and gone away. But Christians have never shut up or gone away! Persecution and hatred is something we can all look forward to, today or tomorrow, especially when we are called to stand up for our Lord, his Church and his Word.

Kirk Cameron does not hate homosexuals, and I am proud to say that no Christian doctrine ever promoted hatred (except for sin, and lying is a sin). But what he does love, more than anyone else, is Jesus Christ, who is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.


  1. I had a different reaction to Kirk Cameron... I think he was very judgmental and came off with such righteous indignation. I watched the original interview on Piers Morgan a couple weeks ago.

    I don't think anyone wanted him to lie about his beliefs, but tolerance and civility isn't asking too much. Love your neighbor as yourself comes to mind. Whether he likes it or not, there are gay/lesbian people who live among us so no matter what vitriol is thrown out against them, they will still be here. Just yesterday we read in the gospel how Jesus helped the man who had been "ill" for 38 years. If Kirk Cameron isn't extreme, would he not want to help them instead of insult them? I heard this phrase about what non believers think of Christians and Christianity....I'm paraphrasing here, but it's something like they wish they could have met Christ before meeting the Christian.

    Anyway, in my view Kirk Cameron's Zeal blinded him to the truth that the heart of the Lord is mercy for all...yes, including our Gay/Lesbian brethren.

    1. People don't want to hear or except the truth. Being gay/lesbian isn't of God or Christ to me it is of the evil one. So what Kirk said was true since the coming out of gays and lesbians it has been excepted by society and that in itself is wrong. People don't seem to think a whole lot about what it use to be like not too long ago when stores were closed on Sundays and families spent the day together now we live in a time where corporate greed,infidelity, being gay/lesbian is all ok offending someones religion when it comes to God or Jesus removing God from our schools government buildings well that is why this country is in the shape it is and I am telling you it is not ok with me or God.

  2. I would like to know how you would reiterate Kirk's conviction and strongly held belief (the same belief I share) in a non-judgmental and tolerant way?
    I don't see anything wrong with what Kirk said. I think those that do not share his strong belief and conviction will find any statement to be intolerant and judgmental. And this was the very point of my meditation. Love your neighbor as yourself does not mean you must lie to your neighbor and hide yourself!

    1. Wow father, I completely agree with you!!!!

  3. To me love your neighbor as yourself means to love others in spite of their sin, exactly as you described. Kirk Cameron referred to a person made in the image and likeness of God as unnatural. That's excluding them as part of God's creation...which is in my view judgmental and offensive; We all need a savior.

    So, even with all the strange addictions and tendencies people have, God loves them no less and therefore we must love them in the same way. I'm not saying we should agree with their actions or beliefs. I don't know what causes one to be homosexual, but in my eyes they are just like me the only difference is they have a different sin.

    Yes, mercy for all is not the same as promoting all behaviors and actions, but I think it's welcoming of all people no matter their behavior or actions. Otherwise who would need a savior.

    In my view of all the things "detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization", intolerance is at the top of the list. Where people can get off making such harsh judgments is beyond my understanding of what Christianity is. But I'm still a novice walking through life, begging for mercy and conversion.

    1. @Sarah: Correction. Kirk said their BEHAVIOR was unnatural. There is a huge difference between a person and a behavior. For instance, Christ might love the thief - the person of the thief - but expect the thief to stop stealing - stealing is a behavior. Do you understand the difference? We are called to love the person but reject sinful behaviors.

      Kirk isn't wrong to call homosexual relationships unnatural. Nature did not design men to lie with men or women to lie with women. You can figure that one out by studying anatomy. Children are born only when men and women come together, and that is the case even with in vitro fertlization which requires that the male reproductive material unite with the female for a child to be conceived. It is unnatural - going against nature - for two men to have a sexual relationship or for two women to do so.

  4. I wish I responded earlier. I'll be honest, Father. I really don't care what Kirk Cameron has to say! He's not the celebrity role model I'd listen to or be offended by. I'm surprised you chose him as your example for the theme of "loving instead of lying." Personally I do not like when you for the focus on pop culture celebrities in your meditations. However, I understand your general audience. :)

    One thing I do appreciate is your comments related to RCIA! As someone's who went through the RCIA process 14 years ago and sponsored two candidates, I know what it's like to get into awesome conversations about faith from the perspective of other denominations.. (This is why I'm such a supporter of ecumenical discussions!) The dialog is quite thought-provoking and makes me realize the importance of being tactful yet respectful in conveying the church's teachings. I can't be an effective catechist if I'm not willing to unconditionally love the other person or listen/reflect on their opinions. I certainly cannot be a faithful witness to Christ if I'm lying with pride and arrogance in my heart! There needs to be a proper balance between proclaiming Christ's message with firm conviction yet open to criticism and contradictions. I totally agree as Christians we are and will continue to be hated and despised for our beliefs.


  5. oh wow! I totally agree with u father.

    God bless you father Alfonse

  6. I agree with you father.

  7. Dear Fr. Alfonse,
    Your " cilck here for reading" doesn't take you to the gospel reading of the day anymore. Please check it and chanche the link

  8. I agree with you as well Father. I watched Kirk's interview on the Today show as he explained, BEAUTIFULLY and in a charitable way I may add, his convictions regarding homosexuality. He speaks the truth, really right from the bible. The sin is not in being gay, we all know this. When he talked about homosexuality as being unnatural, I believe he was referring to the sexual act that comes with living the gay lifestyle. This is the real sin and this act, again, we all know is MOST unnatural, as we were created as man and woman for the purpose of procreation.

    Love thy neighbor? Absolutely! But that doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up for the truth, and standing up for the truth in a charitable way doesn't make us judgmental. It means that we will more than likely be persecuted, (which Father's meditation said) which leads us to suffering, which hopefully leads us to CHRIST which hopefully leads us to HEAVEN where hopefully we are told "Well done my good and faithful servant!"

    Peace and love to you all,


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