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, October 3, 2012

Luke 9:57-62 The Would Be Followers

Luke 9:57-62  The Would Be Followers
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, “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.”
Amanda Clayton had it all.  Her life had become a rags-to-riches story.  The story of Cinderella had finally come true!  

For years Amanda collected welfare benefits.  But that all changed in September of last year when she won one million dollars in the Michigan state lottery.  But one year later, almost to the date, she was found dead of an apparent drug overdose.  Her former boyfriend told a reporter, “The Amanda I knew was a caring person….She went down the wrong path, she got the money, got the freedom and felt like she could do whatever she wanted.”   Let’s keep her in our prayers.
Poverty kills.  Wealth does too.  But money is not the root of all evil.  Sin is.  Sin separates our heart, our mind, our will, our worth and our dignity from our Creator.  And when that happens, evil happens.  And that evil can lead us to the worst possible separation ever, the worst divorce ever:  hell.
Job was a very special man.  He was found worthy of God’s graces.  Yes!  God’s graces!  Even though his possessions were put through fire, his servants put to the sword, and his children swept away, he never found it in his heart to curse God!    Job was a man of deep faith and not of deep understanding.  Even when his mental faculties were tested and his body afflicted, he refused to try to explain why God would do this to him.  Through it all, Job never lowered his dignity; never forgot his Creator.
I say that Job was a man found worthy of God’s blessings because he was.  When this beautiful story of faith and fidelity was circulating among the Jews, he was the closest imitation to the real, yet unknown, person of Jesus Christ. 
Job is the prototype, the forerunner, of Jesus Christ.  But where Job lost everything, Christ gave everything.  Why?  Because it was worth it. 
Scripture scholars continue to debate whether or not this story is true.  I don't know why!  Give me a break.  Don’t they know people who have gone through “hell”, who have lost everything they had and everyone they loved?  Who cares if Job is a fictitious or anonymous name.  The facts speak for themselves.  The name “Job” may have been created, but we don’t need to be very creative to come up with this narrative.  We have seen it for ourselves!  Maybe we have lived it ourselves!  I know plenty of people who have gone through very dark times.  What makes all the difference in the world is how they respond to it; how it can get much better or far worse! 
Lord, I will follow you wherever you go!  How immature!  What nonsense.  Someone came up to the Lord and said, “I will follow you wherever you go?”  Sure, the first day, the days of excitement, are the best and easiest days.  But when days become years…  This poor guy didn’t know what he was talking about.  Job lost all that he had because the Lord stripped it from him.  This would-be-disciple thought he could bring it all.  Little did he know the Lord would ask him to strip down (physically and pride-fully) to nothing!  Poverty, chastity and obedience have a way of doing that to people.  My oh my!!!  But don’t feel too sorry for priests.  All commitments, even marriage vows, have a way of doing that to people! 
Love is all about giving and receiving…and in that order, and not always receiving on time.
It is immature to think the Lord will do what we tell him to do if we pray to him.  It is highly irrational to think that God’s protection means I will not experience dark days.  It is pure fantasy to think with God on my side, I will be rich and healthy.  Sorry folks, I just don’t see that anywhere in Scripture.
God is not very much interested in helping us settle down on earth.  He is very much interested in uprooting us and making His home our dwelling place.  This isn’t a “pie-in-the-sky” faith.  This is mission impossible - Delta force and Navy SEALS - work on earth!  Why would anyone risk their lives like these people do?  Because they consider it worth it.  They have been called to serve. 

We've been called too.
Job reacted in a way that none of the “would-be-followers” of Christ did.  When he experienced the loss of family and friends, Job did not look back:  The Lord gives and the Lord takes, blessed be the Lord now and forever!  What a declaration of faith!
Our faith and prayer life are very important for our survival and holiness.  We may lose our treasure on earth, but we can never lose the treasure of our faith.  The glitter and confetti of life’s pleasures will eventually fall…fall flat on the ground, but our hearts and minds must remain firmly planted on that which never changes.  When autumn approaches, let us prepare for winter.  When our enthusiasm for God evaporates faster than our possessions, do not grind your teeth and cast the Lord aside. Instead, hold firm to the faith of our Fathers.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to that Father! I just had my sister call and hang up on me. She was playing the pity card...the woe is me, I have no life. Today, just wasn't the day I had compassion. I had to call "baloney". I am suffering through a lot of dark times right now and I am choosing to find gratitude for this suffering. It is hard, but I have faith this trial is here for a reason. My sister wants to stay in this place of pity for her life and blame others for one else struggles just me...well, she is determined to stay put and she has...for 3 years! I can't say I'm grateful for all the darkness in my life right now, but I am trusting God and as you say "holding firm" to my faith that with this trial he will also provide a way out. And you know what, I have had some pretty joyful moments in this dark time and maybe I would not have appreciated them as much without this suffering?


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