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, February 6, 2013

Mk 6:1-6 Amazed By Faith

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  So he was not able to perform any mighty deeds [in his native place], apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith.

They took offense at him.  About six months ago, a young teenager told his mother that he no longer believed in God and that he no longer wanted to go to Church.  The announcement shocked his mother and broke her heart. 

A few days ago, the boy was rushed to the hospital.  He was found in the middle of the night in a coma due to a drug overdose.    

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the “Military History Channel”.  I turned it on right when the Nazi army was closing in on Moscow.  It turns out that Joseph Stalin, an atheist, who had spent the last five years executing priests and destroying Churches to remove any semblance of religion in his country, suddenly ordered the Churches reopened and the priests to pray.  Did he experience a change of heart?  Of course not!  It was an atheist’s cold calculated move to win support, appease the peasants and convert them into human shields against the advancing Nazi army.  Ah, the things we can accomplish once we remove the burdens of faith and morals from our lives! 

True to his “creed”, Stalin encouraged “his” people to sacrifice all they had (including their lives) for “the homeland”.  While he insisted that no one (not even children) leave the city, a train was made ready for him just in case his life was in danger.  Ah, the things we can accomplish once we remove the burdens of faith and morals from our lives!

Which came first: the chicken or the egg, the baby or the womb, man or God? 

Man or God?  Is man a figment of God’s imagination or is God a figment of man’s imagination?  If the latter be true, then is peace and equality along with freedom and justice also figments of man’s imagination?  Is good and evil and right and wrong just threads without a needle?  Would civil laws simply be figments of a complex animal’s desire to be more than it can be?  Well, by past experience (history), I would say that the answer you give will be strongly influenced by what you wish to accomplish in your life.

What did Christ wish to accomplish in his short life?  What was the Lord’s struggle? What exactly did the Lord die for?  Was it for class revolution?  Was it for race supremacy?  Was it for equality and justice for all?

Was the Lord’s struggle a battle between Jewish supremacy and Roman rule?  Was it a battle between the rich and the poor?  Wasn’t it rich folk that made the world a more horrible place while poor people made it a more humble place! 

Or was the Lord’s struggle a battle between the sexes.  Maybe that’s the reason why He appeared to a group of women on resurrection day:  to give women the right to vote and equal justice before the law.

But could it be that the Lord’s battle for mankind went well beyond all these struggles?  And that his battle explains all battles and struggles combined?  That all these symptoms are a manifestation of one ailment:  sin? 

Could it be that our struggle has nothing to do with race, sex, nationality, etc… but that these are the devil’s tools to prevent us from tackling the greatest threat to love and humanity?  Are we being manipulated by another Joseph Stalin, who loved to manipulate things and confuse the masses? 

Is our greatest struggle, the struggle that explains all human struggles, a struggle with sin and sinners?

Yes, for we are all sinners.  But not all of us know it, not yet at least.  And not all of us are ready to accept it, not yet at least.

My dear friends, we should not be amazed by what a lack of faith can do.  We should be amazed by what faith can do.

3 comments:

  1. FAITH WORKS!

    Katie

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  2. Father Alfonse, your meditation today is very insightful. I never realized that Stalin had executed priests. I have difficulty watching the History Channel, I know those who died, their suffering is over, but when I see footage of what evil can make people endure it saddens me so that I turn it off, pray for their souls, that he wrap them in his love and blot out their anguish they endured while on this earth.

    The devil has thousands of years of experience over we humans who live maybe 80 years or so. Faith is the only thing that disarms the devil. He will work the hardest on those with the most faith. He doesn't want someone with great faith to sustain and hold steadfast in the storm. He is afraid of those who have unwavering faith. For those who have it help those who don't, and that is a win for God and a loss for the devil.

    I hear people say, there is no God or all this bad stuff wouldn't be happening to so many good people. Why didn't God do something to prevent it, if he is really there. I think they miss the big picture. I usually interject and put my thoughts into the melting pot, I hope it helps, because they need to see that a loving God allows us to choose how we handle hardship. He gives us the tools everyday that we need to overcome them. He is here for us 24/7 and wants only for us to turn to him and not the dark side. He has to allow the strong in faith to experience hardship because we are his messengers to the atheist's, in hopes of their conversion so more souls will be with our Heavenly Father.

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  3. Is our greatest struggle, the struggle that explains all human struggles, a struggle with sin and sinners?
    Only if the sinner is me. Once I was given the grace to accept the world as it is today, but at the same time to not be satisfied with the status quoi, I realized what God was asking of me: “I know that you want to ‘understand’ the Truth which is Me, but the only way you are going to even get a little closer is if you Love: I will ‘manifest’ Myself to those who Love Me, who live according to My Word.”
    If I am only focusing on my neighbor that God specifically puts in front of me in every moment and understanding that this is the will of God for me, I forget about the negative and positive aspects of myself…. I forget myself. I forget my agenda, even if it has good intentions. I do not have to work on eliminating sin out of my life, because now my focus is on Loving Jesus in front of me. Sin is selfishness. We think that ‘this’ is what is going to make me happier. If I am trying to bring my awareness to help other people, I am not selfish….in that moment. Then I just try to string many of those moments together.
    Sin is only a consequence of not loving. It’s just a symptom. If we want to prevent the disease, we must go after the root cause….. make the Body healthier, become more like Him: Love.
    “Love covers a multitude of sins.” It doesn’t say my love covers a multitude of my sins. My love covers a multitude of “the Body’s” sins. I have so much power to change this world!!! It’s just that I must continue to struggle with myself in overcoming my selfish ways….It’s not the other people. It’s me. I must become Him. "Your sanctification is the will of God."

    “Jesus did not redeem the world with truth, but with an act of obedience, an act of Love.” Chiara Lubich

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