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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

John 10:1-10 Opening or Jumping

John 10:1-10  Opening or Jumping

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said, “I am the gate.  Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.  A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” 

We don't often think of religious vows as being something practical.  But they are.  Think about it. What stops someone from speaking their mind or standing up for someone or something they strongly believe in?  What stops them from being totally honest with another?   Unfortunately, it is the fact that we all have to make a living.  We all need a job, and we fear losing it if we speak out.  We all need money.  We all have needs.

I could be wrong in my assessment, but far too often I ask people, “Well, why don’t you say something about this?” or “Why don’t you do something about it?” And the answer keeps coming back, “Father, I need my job” or “I need money to feed my family” or “I need a good grade in this class.” This problem causes the 'thief' (the bad guy) in today's parable  to come at night, jump over the gate and steal, slaughter and destroy.

The more and more I run into this issue, the more and more I begin to understand the profound wisdom of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  They are not at all easy, but Christ demanded this from his Apostles and for very good reasons. 

Religious sisters and priests (and those influenced by Christian principles) have always been at the forefront of controversial yet peaceful movements.  They have always been there because they had nothing to lose, except their lives.  And of course it was always their lives that they risked losing because there was no other way for their enemies to stop them.  Who can stop the excitement and depth that Christian principles, Christian ideals, Christian figures bring to the world? Nothing!  When Christians speak, they speak to the human heart and overwhelm it with beauty.  So how can they be stopped?  Would death threats against their children do it?  No.  Oh, the wisdom of chastity!  Would the loss of a promotion do it?  What is there to look forward to when you take a vow of obedience?  Would it be the loss of a job?  There is tremendous job security in the priesthood.  No wonder why they are feared. John Paul II led the freedom call in Poland.  He took on the entire Communist establishment.  His enemies knew perfectly well what it would take to stop him.  His murder.  They failed.  And mankind won.      

Those that do not live the Christian life will always have a hard time speaking up or standing out from the crowd.  Why?  Because in order to live, you need to make a living.  But for a Christian, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).

Today, so many movements are filled with young people who are short sighted and short tempered.  The G8 protest movements, the environmental movements, the Occupy Wall Street movements are fueled by half truths, demands, class warfare, terror, revenge and/or anger.  Why?  Because they are short of ideas, and when you are short of ideas you take short cuts.  Threats are a shortcut to speeches.  Vandalism is justified as a shortcut to peace. Demands are a shortcut to dialogue. Revenge is a short cut to conflict resolution.  Destruction is a short cut to construction.  “If we can scare you long enough, then maybe we can get what we want.”  They think that the knife speaks louder than words. But the protestor’s mask reveals his/her lack of commitment.  Show your face, like real believers do!  Reveal your true identity and live and die for your beliefs.    Stop trying to jump the fence and steal, slaughter and destroy.

The Lord came.  He came into our lives.  The only thing He destroyed was sin and death.  He emptied both of their meaning.  How did he do it?  He revealed himself.  He went through the front gate.  He called out to us.  We killed him.  Christ revealed his true identity in the Resurrection.  We revealed our true identity in His crucifixion.   This is a good start.  At least we know where we stand for better or for worse.

1 comment:

  1. What if modern-day Lay Christians took temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience (not just the consecrated/religious)? What if even for a few weeks the Lay could all think and behave like Christ and His disciples? I can see the strengthened "fear of the Lord" dissolving the "fears" people feel when encountering difficult situations: Speaking out in defense of someone. Speaking the mind. Speaking with honesty and conviction. Speaking against atrocities and injustice. Speaking the truth about the Christian faith! Fear and short cuts are poor excuses for remaining silent!




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