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!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mk 3:31-35 Standing Outside Part II

(Click here for readings)
The Mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.  Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him...  But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”  And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Who are my brothers and sisters?  Michael Garcia is a kind and simple man.  He doesn’t look for fights.  He works as a waiter in a Houston restaurant and loves what he does.  But most of all, he loves the families he has met.  One family in particular are regulars.  They have a young son, Milo, who has Down syndrome.   
Milo is five-years-old and, of course, is a little rambunctious.  When Garcia saw a patron at the restaurant making fun of the child, he remained calm.  But when he overheard the patron say:  “Special needs kids need to be special somewhere else”, that was the last straw.  Garcia politely told the person that he would not be serving him.  The individual got up and left the restaurant.
 We need to stand up and stand out!  There is much to fear if we do.  But there is even more to fear if we don’t.  The Lord has made it very clear who we are in relation to each other:  We are our brother’s keeper.”  The Lord has made it very clear who we are in relation to Him:  Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.
Recently, a young Ursuline student by the name of Kristen Beach was featured in the Texas Catholic. I know Kristen.  She is a brilliant student and a radiant young lady.  She loves school, but she loves kids even more.  But most of all, she loves kids who have special needs.   She works as a volunteer for Best Buddies, an organization that creates opportunities for children with special needs to not feel left out.  She has done fantastic work with these kids.  But I personally believe that her greatest accomplishment has been to get other students from Ursuline to put their heart, mind and soul into this amazing organization.  As a fruit of her labor, she has won the hearts of “her kids”, her classmates and her classmates to these kids.    

There are plenty of examples of teens reaching out to others and to their peers.  Here's one and here's another
Who are my brothers and sisters?  90% of children with Down syndrome are terminated in the United States of America.  Not surprisingly, there is no evidence that suggests a lower termination rate for couples who are very well off.  Only couples who are committed Christians, have much lower termination rates.  Most know well who their brothers and sisters are:  The socially awkward, the crippled, the sick, the lepers, the blind, the forgotten, the abandoned, the ridiculed, the hated, the lost.       
Who are my brothers and sisters?   It’s easy to forget the obvious.  It’s easy to dismiss the people who share your last name.
Yes, while we are all working very hard in “saving the world” and highlighting “human rights” issues in various parts of the world, let’s not forget our very own parents, brothers and sisters that are home alone.  Let’s not forget our very own, especially our younger siblings who are seeking love, compassion, understanding and an ear from us.  Let’s not forget them my dear teenagers!  Let’s not forget them my dear adults!
Although it is not recorded in Scripture, I have no doubts that once the Lord heard that his mother and brothers and sisters were outside, he immediately instructed his disciples to let them in.    
The Lord has made it clear He wants us in.  Have we made it clear we want Him in? 

4 comments:

  1. We are our brother’s keeper. In other words, to those who have been given more, more is expected.
    These very words depict why I still struggle with the statement that “if we are ‘good’ (whatever that is) and don’t sin we will go to heaven… eventually.” Isn’t it my potential that I must reach, the God-given gifts that He gave just to me that I must exhaust? (I will exhaust those and He promises to give me more to use for His Kingdom!) Should I not be trying to become more aware of the many opportunities that He gave me to look for these brothers? Shouldn’t I muster up all the love that I can give to say a kind word, to involve an outsider, a socially awkward person to join my children or me for lunch or to play at the park when he was younger… or older? If we are one body in Christ, I just don’t see how it is not my joy to do this.
    In some remote (mystical) way, I feel that we (everyone who knew him) could have helped Adam (or his mother) in some way so that Adam/his mother would have felt the love of God, through human touch, through inclusion. If he did have a mental disease, his brother’s keeper could have intervened somehow, some way, where Adam was not able. This is the demon! OUR lack of love….myself at the top of the list! I honestly can no longer see that we are individuals! We are a body!! Adam was just a part. This is why I must work out my salvation. I will not get to heaven on my own: I must bring the Adams, the atheists, the nobody(s) that I encounter with me…. This is my entry fee – my level of sacrifice, my level of Love.
    “I build my house on earth that I will inhabit in heaven.” Chiara Lubich
    I must admit Father, many times I try to convert you!..... you know what I mean, I hope. Then I realize: this is not Love; this is MY ambition, MY motive, MY thinking that you really don’t see the big picture. (Sorry but I’m just laying it all out there!) It is so very human! It’s not divine Love! To be my brother’s keeper means to love him for who he is right now….with no motives; otherwise, it is not pure love. I don’t love my kids or husband b/c they are good or right or bright or even agree with me! I love them b/c they are a child of God! (Understanding God’s sense of humor, I even love my kid who is THE hardest to love b/c, unfortunately, he is just like me!!) This is what I see that Mary did. This is what I see that Jesus did. It would take time before people could see, could realize what this type of Love costs. It’s our effort that He sees – how I die to myself. This to me is the will of God… and of course, the circumstances that he puts in my path that I have no control over.
    I will TRY to stop converting you…. No promises!
    I cannot say that just b/c I am Catholic, got it all right theologically (wh/I truly believe I do) and do not sin that I am closer to heaven. I must struggle; I must go into the desert to pray, to discern; I must allow God to change me inside out! I AM responsible for the Adams that I meet. I consume Christ in the Eucharist. Now I just need others to consume me until I am no longer.

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  2. She works as a volunteer for Best Buddies, an organization that creates opportunities for children with special needs to not feel left out. - Miss Kristen, is a prefect role model :)

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  3. Father Alfonse,

    After reading this meditation, I can really relate to it. I've called to my brothers to come to me in time of need. I've prayed that God will encourage them to be there for me when I've suffered a tremendous loss in my life. After I had to say my final goodbyes, it was more important that one of my brothers was going to spend time with someonelse and the other one was going back to work. The one that was going back to work is salaried and I'm sure his employer would have understood. It was so extremely difficult to walk back into our home by myself after the service. I now feel that maybe I would have been better off if they didn't even attend the service. One good thing is that one of the priests that had the service and is a personal friend of ours called me to make sure I was okay. These same boys called my Mother to check on her after my Dad died but that wasn't part of my brother's plans to check on me. I've made the first several steps to ask for their love, support and caring. They've mentioned that their lives are busy and that they think I can handle what I need to do to complete my journey in life. I would go to one of their houses so we could spend an evening and have dinner leaving around eight to make my way home on a weekend. I would tell him that I would constantly touch base with him on where I was on my way home which was about a forty-five minute drive from Arlington to Garland. His reply was I'm going to bed at eight when I left and he would wake up during the night and check his messages. I would tell him that might be too late. The former wife of this same brother said she saw the way he treated me and she would talk to him hoping that he would change. Change wasn't something he wanted to do. He was never there for his children nor his wife. He has a history of buying his childrens love which was noticed by us and my parents. They have now parted ways and she has remarried to a wonderful man who is there for her and her children. I never would imagine that you would have to buy your childs love with expensive gifts. My younger brother and I are the only ones that communicate. I wish I could see him more often but he lives several hours away and I don't feel comfortable driving by myself to see him and I can't afford to fly. I'm still greatful that the communication line between the two of us is always open. If he doesn't hear from me for a while he will call me to make sure I'm okay. What's so crazy is that myself and this brother weren't favored by my Mother. My Dad didn't treat any of us this way but it seemed this kind of attitude existed with my Mother. It shouldn't be the fact that I'm the only girl. What should be the fact is that we are brothers and sisters and God wants each and everyone of us to be there for each other and respect one another. I'm scared that one day they will find me and it will be too late because they couldn't be there to care enough to help.

    God Bless You

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  4. Father Alfonse,

    When I married God joined us together to become one and we cannot be seperated because we are now one with the Lord. When my spouse died it was said that part of me died with them and part of them lived with me. Why didn't all of me die with my spouse and all of them live with me? For that reason, I still believe that I have my spouse with me and that is why I feel that I must respect the fact that I'm still very much married and I cannot cover over what God has given my spouse and myself with remarrying. If I remarry then I feel that I'm pushing aside my spouse and it gives me the feeling that I no longer feel they are any good in my life. It's like having a part that is no longer of any use and so you discard it. I don't want to have that feeling for my spouse. Even though marriage brings challenges and some of us can't handle the challenges and separate to me they are still married because God is our Supreme Being and has joined us and no judge is supreme over our Lord.

    God Bless You

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