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!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mt 5: 20-26 You Have Heard That It Was Said

Mt 5: 20-26  You Have Heard That It Was Said
Jesus said to his disciples:  “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.”   
We have heard many things said about us and much of it we internalize.  Unfortunately, much of what is said about us is somewhat negative.  We all have a strong tendency to pick up the negative before we find the positive.  Today, the Lord has something to say to us:  “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.”   
What the Lord is saying is shocking!  Unless you become better than those who consider themselves “the best”, you cannot enter heaven.  How in the world can I become better than those who dedicated hours and hours of their time in serving the Lord?  Or were so careful as to not come into contact with those who were defiled?  How can I be better than those who knew Sacred Scripture like the palm of their hand?  How can I surpass the scribes, Pharisees, chief priests, elders and Herodians?   Answer:  By noticing the plank in your own eye before calling attention to the splinter in someone else’s eye. 
What exactly does that mean?  Does it mean I have to stay quiet all the time?  No.  Does it mean I have to accept the splinter in everybody’s eyes until I pull the plank from my own eye?  No.  It means I need to admit to myself and to others that I am not God; and admit to myself and to others that there is someone better than I and something better than what I have been living.  “Go, and make disciples!” 
The tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, criminals, rejects of society recognized who Christ was before most of the established religious authorities did.  Converts to the faith will always have a much deeper appreciation for the faith because they had a deeper wound (splinter) in their heart.  The blind will always cherish their sight more than those who could see because they went from darkness to light. 
“Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”  Was it not the religious authorities that were judgmental and (of course) angry with Christ?  Was it not the rejects of society that came to John for baptism and Christ for salvation?  Those who should have condemned him accepted him, and those who should have accepted him condemned him.   
Am I close to the Lord?  Do I follow His Commandments?  Have I made a good confession lately?  Have I turned my life around?  Or am I stuck in the sins of my youth?  Have I grown to accept everything in order to be loved by everyone?  How easy it would be to love everyone by just accepting everything.  Why don’t we do it?
Judging people on earth is the surest way to be judged in heaven.  But helping someone by correcting them on earth is the surest way to get to heaven.  St. James writes:  “Remember this:  Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

Do it!  Go for it!  Go, and make disciples for the Lord.

Remember:  the first step to love is to not judge.  The second step is to forgive.  Christ never judged anyone.  But one day He will.  To be judged is part of our journey.   To be in heaven is the end of our story.


  1. I'm reminded of Proverbs 6:16-19. So often unjust judgment is delivered through words, written or spoken. Once a priest offered a meditation about Proverbs 6:19, pointing out that the sowing of discord among brothers (which judgment and false accusation lead to) is listed as one of the things the Lord hates, along with, among other things--murder! His thoughts prompted me to try to avoid sin in speech/writing from that point forward. Many years have passed since I first heard his teaching, and it's still so very difficult!

    And Matthew 13:36 is sobering too: "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak."

    EVERY careless word? Gulp...

  2. “Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”

    How easy it would be to love everyone by just accepting everything. Why don’t we do it?

    Judging people on earth is the surest way to be judged in heaven. But helping someone by correcting them on earth is the surest way to get to heaven. St. James writes: “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).”

    God has a sense of humor!

    I was so glad when I read your first post this morning because it got me off the hook.

    I spent my adoration time this morning meditating on “….recall that your brother has anything AGAINST YOU,….”. I never thought it was about him having something against me, but me against him.

    I felt the Lord asking me to face my sister who’s held on to everything I have ever done bad, in her estimation, and refuses to forgive and it is killing her. She is so filled with hatred that it has torn our family apart.

    It used to hurt me and make me angry and feel like a victim, but now I am able to see that it is not her but the demons inside of her that are filled with so much hatred and unforgiveness. I believe I have forgiven her and each time she explodes it gets easier and easier to forgive her.(only by the grace of God,though)
    Eph. 6:12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

    I have been terrified of her rage most of my life and have walked on eggshells to avoid her wrath.

    This morning I heard the Lord asking me to humble myself, take responsibility for anything I’ve done or that she thinks I’ve done and ask for her forgiveness. It doesn’t matter if I am right or wrong, if her perception is accurate or not. Nothing matters because this hatred is standing between her and God. He is not asking me to accept abuse. He has already done that. He is asking me to make myself humble because Satan hates humility. He’s asking me to sacrifice my pride out of my love for her and for Him to help save her soul. He is asking me to be a tool in His hand and I have a choice.

    I am so afraid to do this. To make sure it was His idea and not mine or anyone else's, i asked Him to confirm His instructions, that if he really wanted me to face her, humble myself and face the terror in my heart, you (Father) would have to have something in your blog to confirm it.

    When you reposted, I was blown away. Now I have to find the courage to do this. I know I already have the grace and He will protect me, but I have to step out in my faith in Him and do what He’s asked. I am so scared of her anger and rage.

    This is going to be very difficult and He’s going to have to supply the opportunity if I am going to do it. So there is one more hoop for Him to jump through. LOL!!!! Lord, please don’t strike me down.

    I’m only sharing this because there may be someone else out there in a similar situation who may or may not be guilty, who’s humility may be able to help someone else find forgiveness and get to heaven.

    Benedicamus Deus!

  3. The good ol' "J" word: Judgment. It's mentioned so many times in the bible. We've been told not to judge others, but, by golly, we do it anyway. Throughout my life, I've discovered people who consider themselves "Christians" much more judgmental than those who consider themselves "Spiritual." I've never quite understood why that is. I guess Christians are more guided by "rules" than the "Spiritual." They believe everybody else should follow the same "rules" and get haughty when people do not.

    I've been very hurt by judgmental comments against me. Oftentimes they've been made by people who don't even know me personally. It's like they assume I'm of a certain character because of the way I look, my single status, or the way I express my opinions. It's hard to shrug off such abrasive conjectures. In the scheme of things, I know God is not very approving of such comments. I try everyday to remember what it feels like to be an object of judgment. As a result, I try not to judge others. It's difficult sometimes when I see behaviors that are so destructive, so vile, and so against God's will. I see the need for constructive criticism to help another person along without being hateful and rude. I want to respect other people's opinions and life choices. I may not agree but I don't feel like I'm in the authority to tell these people they are damned to hell (or worse) for whatever they are doing.



  4. "...damned to hell (or worse) for whatever they are doing."

    What's worse than hell???

  5. Good question. I think it depends on a person's definition of hell and if he or she believes in its existence. Atheists would argue that hell does not exist therefore the sufferings of this world would be worse punishment (I.e terminal cancer, poverty, war, abuse, etc.) Those who believe in rebirth or reincarnation may think what they are transformed into may be worse than any type of temporary "hell" they endured on earth or after death. It all depends what hell truly means. Is it only how Jesus describes it in the bible? Of course, all of us as Christians understand the severity of hell and know its not something any of us want to be sent to.

    (Sorry, I guess I should not have included "or worse" in the original sentence. )


  6. LOL!

    I just thought it was funny you said it.

    I guess you didnt mean hell.

    Because some ones belief or lack of belief doesnt alter truth.

    Hell is not pain or suffering on earth.
    Hell is eternal damnation, the eternal loss of God. There is nothing worse.

    I imagine there are no words to describe the horror of it like the ecstasy of heaven cannot be described or imagined.

  7. recall that your brother has anything AGAINST YOU

    Anonymous #2

    I had never noticed that either.
    That changes a lot of things.
    I knew that I need to forgive those who have sinned against me. That is the most obvious. But I never thought about needing to go to a person who has anything against me. It seems like that would be their problem.

    That means it doesn't matter if I have not done anything to them or if I have hurt them deeply. I have to go to them and reconcile. I guess that means I have to do my part and if they refuse, I've at least done all I can to reconcile.

    That also means repenting and asking God's forgiveness is not enough.

    That means I MUST go to anyone who I've hurt deliberately or not. If they are hurt by me, I need to go to them and try to reconcile.

    That is a horse of a different color! That is WAY harder.

    Jesus is asking a lot there. That is right up there with love your enemies. Actually I think it's harder because it requires HUMILITY and lots of it. And it requires love.

    I don't know if I can do that. But if I don't I will be accountable to God?


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