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, July 15, 2012

Mk 6:7-13 Making The Right Connections

Mk 6:7-13  Making The Right Connections
(Click here for readings)
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  They were, however to wear sandals but not a second tunic.    
No food, no sack, no money.  Thank God the Lord allowed them to wear sandals.  How generous of him!
What in the world is the Lord thinking?  Why is He doing this?  Is He punishing them?  Does He want to make their life miserable?  What’s the point?  What’s the connection between Jesus and material poverty?  What lesson does the Lord want his Apostles to learn?  Does He want them to learn how to rely on themselves and not on Him or just the opposite?  I think the answer is pretty clear:  Our Lord wants them to trust in Him. 
Christ could have talked all day long about trust.  He could have preached about it until he was blue in the face.  But eventually, His Apostles would have to experience it, and the only way they would ever experience His security, His authority, His power is if they left behind their personal securities, authority and abilities. 
It worked.    They all came back better than ever.  They understood the connection.
We are constantly connecting ideas and people together.  Sometimes we do a good job at it; sometimes we do a very lousy job at it.
Imagine moms and dads this scenario.  You pack your kids up for school.  You drive them to school and then one of them realizes that they left their lunch money or lunch, or homework, or P.E. uniform at home.  Now imagine what would happen if you told him, “Honey, I’m sorry but I will not go back to get them.”  What would your child think of that?  What connection would they make?  Would they think, “I get it.  It finally comes out.  You hate me, don’t you?”  If they think that, they would be making one big bad connection.  The truth of the matter is totally different.  You won’t go back not because you don’t love your child, but because you need to teach your child to be more responsible.  That’s the real connection!    
Make the connection.  If we wish to have a greater connection in our life with Christ then we must trust in his commandments, his love, his pruning, his love, his authority.  Take it step by step.  Acknowledge God before others.  Live the faith faithfully.  Bear fruit.  Be blessed.  This is how I ended yesterday’s meditation.  This is where I would like to pick up on today’s meditation. 
To have a blessed life does not mean to have an easy life.  That’s a very wrong connection that far too many of us have made.  On the contrary, to be blessed means to accept an invitation to follow and imitate the life of Jesus Christ; that is, to be a participant in salvation history; to take an active role in salvation and redemption.  Will it be easy?  Ask the Lord.  Make the connection.  Did the Lord experience hardships or suffering?    Yes.  So will I be surprised or shocked if I experience the same?  I shouldn’t be, if I made the connection.   
If you pray will you be successful?  Yes, but not in the way you think.  Too often we connect success with money and power.  In fact, we often associate a rich person as “blessed (by the Lord)” and a poor person as “cursed (by the Lord)”.  That’s a very wrong connection to make.  We are not believers in the “prosperity gospel”.  Take a look and tell me which of the Twelve Apostles turned out to be a millionaire?  We need to be careful of the connections we make.  Bad connections ultimately lead to bad decisions.  Success, “Christ style”, means life after death; glory after crucifixion; recognition and praise after suffering; steadfastness and determination in the midst of confusion and aggression.  
If I die like Christ, I will rise like Him.  If I live like Christ, I will suffer like Christ.  If I love like Christ, I will be more like Christ.  Make right connections today, not only with regards to the Lord but also in regards to your marriage and family.
This morning I heard that 18% of all children in the United States are obese.  Interesting…but then the announcer said that 80% of all children in the United States are on a diet.  The conversation quickly turned to parents taking responsibility by ensuring that their children eat properly and exercise regularly.  But I didn’t get the connection between bad food and so many kids on a diet.  The problem is not with what’s in the refrigerator.  The problem is what’s in the bedroom!  If only 18% of children are medically obese but 80% of our kids are on a diet then the problem is not with what’s in the refrigerator.  The problem is what are our kids watching?  I know what they are seeing (or reading):  Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, etc…  Our girls are “reading” magazines full of digitally modified bodies of teens!  No wonder over ten million girls have eating disorders.  Make the connection!  Get rid of the magazines!

Teenage texting is another area that needs to be addressed.  Parents pat themselves on the back because they think they solved the problem by giving their child unlimited texting.  Bad connection.  Instead, what they have done is create the illusion of unlimited time; that they have all the time in the world to waste.  50,000 texts in one month is nothing but a waste of time; which ultimately leads to a waste of a life.  That's really the right connection.   

For months there has been a debate whether or not football helmets make football players safer.  The purpose of helmets was to protect our players from head injuries.  Wrong connection!  Instead of making them safer, it made them more reckless.  It made them think they were invincible!  Maybe the same lessons learned on the football field can be applied to teenage sex.  Instead of encouraging our kids to engage in “safe sex”, we may have actually taught them to engage in reckless sex.   Good connection!
They say the truth hurts.  Bad connection!  What we really should say is the truth sets us free because Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  What really hurts is not the truth but rather our pride. 

Jesus never hurts.  Great connection!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! God bless you, Fr. Alfonse! And God bless all of us!


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