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, July 2, 2012

Mt 8:18-22 No Reason To Rest

Mt 8:18-22  No Reason To Rest
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore.  A scribe approached him and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” 
When I read today’s Gospel passage, I immediately thought of how falsehoods make great resting spots.  Sure, I can be, if only for a moment, “whatever I want to be”.  I can pretend to be who I am not.  I can duck and hide in a lie.  I can take cover in an illusion.  I can plant the buck on someone else.  I can keep the fa├žade alive and well.  Why rely on the truth when I can retell a lie?  I can continue to use my past as an excuse in order to win the ear or sympathy of the one I wish to keep close to my chest.   
 “I’m pregnant”.  That’s what an obsessed young teenage girl told her boyfriend.  It wasn’t true, but that’s what she told him.  And for a few months, she took comfort in her lie.  She got what she wanted (comfort in power) and she held on to him for as long as she could. 
“I have cancer.”  That’s what another obsessed lover told their “beloved”.    And for weeks the “beloved” felt tormented by his “insensitivity”.  It all turned out to be a hoax, but the damage was done.  The beloved nearly had a nervous breakdown from all the mind games played.
Foxes have dens, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.  There’s no place to hide in the truth.  And in some ways, there’s no resting in the truth.  Yes, the truth shall set you free, but it will not bring you rest, not on earth at least.  When you expose yourself to reality, you strip yourself of all comfort.  You lay yourself bare.  You open yourself up to ridicule and to scorn, especially from those who have not yet exposed themselves. Like a desert, the truth will subject you to a scorching hot day and a brutally cold evening.
The Son of man had nowhere to rest his head because he had nothing to hide.  I AM who I AM.  Here I am, I come to do the Father’s Will.  He is all that He claimed to be.  No secrets. No hidden agendas. No false pretenses.  He lays bare his soul and strips himself of any human assumptions such as history or culture.  He speaks to all, regardless of gender.  He cures all, regardless of profession of faith.  He loves all, regardless of race or nationality.  He dies for all:  regardless of their worthiness. 
The Lord will not lie to save his reputation.  He will not lie to save his life, his true identity.  He cannot conceal, not even for a moment, his unconditional love for the Father and for all creation.  When he reminds those he healed to keep hush his power, they immediately go off and rally the crowds and antagonize the Pharisees.  The truth seems to hurt as well as heal!
But given the right circumstances (where two or more are gathered in my name), the truth is as illuminating and as shining as the sun (or the Son) and as refreshing and clean as an evening blue sky.
In my years of as a priest, I have found that the homilies that are most effective (and most appreciated) are the ones that lay bare my soul:  the good, the bad and the ugly.  I have found that the young men and women that go on retreats and have the opportunity to share their life story (the good, the bad and the ugly of it), are hugged and appreciated the most.   I have witnessed, either as a confessor or as a recipient of confession, that the more honest the soul, the greater the grace received.
The Truth is for man.  The truth is for us.  The truth is very liberating.  There is no place to rest for those who trust in the Lord, who trusts in the truth and who trust in God’s love because there is no desire to stop and hide.     

4 comments:

  1. Your homilies not only "lay bare" your "soul" but are deeply relatable! Personal stories are much easier to remember than boring, highly theological and scholarly sermons. :)

    Wow...I think how many of the world's problems might resolve themselves if people were more truthful! As the old sayings go: Honesty is the best policy. The truth always comes out eventually. I think of the destroyed marriages, lost jobs, financial ruin, domestic disputes, and even death related to lies! It's so sad and so tragic.

    I know what it's like to be honest and truthful baring my soul, oftening feeling whips and chains from those around me. At my last job, I was honest with HR about some "harassment" issues that had been going on for years. I took the courage to voice a complaint. As a result, I became the "enemy" of the lab as well as the boss. They couldn't wait to find something to fire me for. Well, the moment happened and I got canned after 11 years. Yes, it was tragic but to this day I think it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I'm a lot less stressed out. I feel closer to God than I ever did when I worked at my old job. The thing is I wish I had been honest with myself years before and left the job on my own. I knew it was a terrible place and slowly killing me. I was scared and never thought I could find a better working environment.

    Anyway, being 100% truthful and honest is hard. It feels great when secrets and lies are all out in the open. I've found the scolding and burning from the desert sun doesn't tend to last very long. People get upset but then they forget about it and move on to other more interesting "drama." Over the years, dishonesty has always caused me grief. When I found I was silent about something, denied a problem or said a little "white lie" things never faired out well. Honesty and truth is very humbling!

    Blessings,

    -Jennifer

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  2. Lies have always been the one thing that I cannot stand and honestly I rarely lie, really.

    I guess it is because my brother lied constantly when we were growing up and I knew it but my parents didn't.

    Then I married a liar, who I believed until I got smart.

    What I learned in all those years was that if someone lies to you, you always wonder what else in the relationship is a lie. You wonder if anything is true. You start to doubt what you know, what you believe to be true, and if the liars in your life are really good, they can convince you to apologize to them for you not believing their lies.

    Lying can really turn into a head game as you pointed out.

    Unfortunately Once someone lies to me, it takes a long time for me to trust them again. It doesn't matter if it's the first time or not. As soon as I catch them in a lie, I shut the door and it's a long time before I will even look out the peep hole at them.

    I realize that is extreme, and I'll have to get over it, but if I don't know what's true, I don't know what's true.

    I guess my point is that I know God is truth, period. But I still have a hard time trusting him, not because of anything he's done but because of what I've experienced. And I realize that is my problem, one I have to overcome, one that I want to overcome and I can only do it with his help and by his grace alone.

    Lord, help me trust you the way you deserve to be trusted.

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  3. I have to share this tidbit. My healthy, active 11 year old son, who was born at 24 weeks and a mere 1 lb 9 oz. is quasi resistant to go to mass at 6:45 a.m.(and I understand wholeheartedly:) This weekend we talked about mass, God, his being premature and how the doctor had asked me to abort him at 19 weeks just as he had recommended me to do with his twin brothers who died before he was born. I had never told him this story. We all have a lot going on in life but something hit me hard when after mass(I am blessed to be able to witness Fr. Alfonse LIVE:) that IF HE WERE TO BECOME A PRIEST, HE WOULD BE JUST LIKE the "COOL FATHER ALFONSE". Fr. Alfonse..thank you for making my children love to go to mass:) Who knows, maybe little David will be a "Cool Priest" someday:)

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    Replies
    1. Dear Alison AKA Mom...I love it!!! That would be fantastic if your precious David became the "Cool Priest"! Thank-you for sharing your tidbit. :)

      (Yes, it is awesome to be able to view Fr. Alfonse Live in person!)

      Blessings,

      -Jennifer

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