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, February 25, 2013

Luke 6:36-38 Write Off The Sin, Not The Sinner!

Jesus said to his disciples:  “Stop judging...Stop condemning...Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
A basketball game is a great example of this.  Yesterday, our kids were winning, winning, winning after three quarters.  The fans were cheering.  We all thought we had the game in the bag.  And then we lost.  Tough lesson learned. 

Just when you think you have victory in your hands, it slips away.  Just when you think you've understood someone, you realize you haven't understood them at all. 

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  How is God merciful, especially when we consider the state of human affairs?  I believe God’s mercy must rely on the fact that he knows us better than we know ourselves and each other. 
The Lord is capable of seeing through our barriers - our walls - our exterior.  He even sees through our actions.  To be merciful, therefore, must mean to penetrate the exterior of a person and come in contact with their heart, mind and soul. 
To be merciful means to be able to write off the exterior postering, not the interior reality; to see every adult as a child, as a wanted and beloved child.
Stop Judging and you will not be judged.  Does this mean that we cannot know right from wrong, or that we should never offer an opinion on anything to anyone?  Does this mean we should eliminate our legal system and all our courts?  Of course not!  We must be allowed to judge an action for what it is.  But we must be careful not to label a man based solely on what he has done, for who he is is much greater than the sum of all his actions. 
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.  Let's not close the book on anyone.  Let’s leave the judging and condemning of men to God.  What we should be doing, therefore, is exactly what the Lord asked us to do:  “Go and make disciples throughout the world.”  
Let’s not write anyone off.   Let’s not shut the door on all the good someone can do because of all the bad they have done.  Rather, let’s seek what's good.  Let’s seek their conversion.  We should not condemn anyone, not even the "dead", for my son was dead as has come back to life.  He was lost and has been found.   
Forgive and you will be forgiven.  If forgiving people is hard for you to do, then it’s because you do not love. 
Not too long ago, I spoke to a young man who gave up a wonderful career to become a priest.  After nearly six months in the seminary, he was having a hard time with the reality of his decision.  He told me how difficult it was for him to live with the other seminarians. Often he got jealous of them.  At times, he would be frustrated with them.  This young man felt alone and abandoned.  Now, he was wondering if God had even called him to the priesthood.  I told him that his difficulties were not the signs of a lack of a vocation, but the signs of pride, vanity and sensuality.  I said to him, “Be patient and be kind.  God is teaching you many things.  But what he is really teaching you is how to love.  Remember?  Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love bears all things, endures all things, hopes all things, believes all things…Love never fails.  Through your difficulties, the Lord is teaching you how to love.”
These words did not come from me, they came from the Holy Spirit.
Resolution:  To write off the sin, not the sinner. 

1 comment:

  1. If forgiving people is hard for you to do, then it’s because you do not love.
    I was thinking of giving up your meditations for Lent. Since it is Sunday, I was tempted to read them and so naturally, I did. I am thankful that I failed.
    Forgiveness is probably the hardest thing in the world to do when someone you deeply care about hurts you. The deeper the hurt and the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to forgive. I can easily forgive someone who I don’t care much for or who doesn’t hurt me too much. But put those two combinations together and it’s just tough. I have too much invested and I just can’t lose it all! I can see why children of divorced parents have it so hard. They have a lot to overcome and may not even know it.
    A friend of mine told me how she can forgive so easily: “I just see Jesus in them. I don’t forgive them for them at first, I forgive them for Jesus; and then, eventually I am able to forgive them, only because I love Jesus so much.”
    I got it. But unless I am so madly in love with Jesus (crucified and forsaken), I cannot even forgive them for Jesus. So this must be my pursuit: Only Him! Him on the Cross! Love of all Loves! I ask you Lord for this grace! I truly get Paul! I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things….everything else is rubbish….!! This is greatness revealed! This is my ultimate joy revealed!!
    So I agree with you: we can only trust in God as the one who will never forsake us…. We may feel like He forsakes us at times, but as you’ve said before, that is just feelings.
    We Christians must be alive for each other – to whom shall I go?


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