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, September 30, 2013

Lk 9:46-50 Hidden And Full Of Hope

Monday Of The Twenty-Sixth Week In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.  Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to him, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me...For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest."

I can't think of a people more resilient than the Jewish people.  I also can't think of a people more head strong than them.  After all, they caused so many sleepless nights and countless headaches for their greatest political and spiritual leader, Moses.  Talk about an ungovernable and stiff-necked people!  Sometimes I wonder if the reason why it took them forty years to get to the Promised Land was so God could wear them down a bit. 

The rise and fall of the Jewish people looks an awful lot like the rise and fall of adults on a trampoline.  The higher they jumped, the faster they fell.  Just as soon as they achieved holiness, they fell into disgrace.  Just as soon as they arrived to the Promised Land, they were exiled by foreigners.  While one King spent his lifetime building up his Kingdom, his son quickly tore it into two. 

The history of the Jews is the true story of an exceptional people who went back and forth on their promises, and with only a few remaining faithful.  It was this small and faithful remnant that kept the Jewish people alive.  No matter how bad things got, they remained faithful to God and He remained faithful to them.  In fact, He is forever "jealous" of them.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:  "I am intensely jealous of Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her...I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem" (Zech. 8:1-2).

What comes around goes around.  What happened to the Jews is happening to us.  We are slowly but surely turning our backs on the teachings of Jesus Christ and following the destructive ways of the world.  I know.  I see and hear it every day.  Far too many of my brothers and sisters are beginning to think things are not so bad after all.  We can live with this...

Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.  He is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me."

Are you hiding in your shell?  Are you staying silent on the issues of the day?  Are you going back and forth on your promises to the Lord? 

Are you forgetting about God while in your glory and returning to him only after hitting rock bottom?  Or are you always in open rebellion against His commandments?

Jesus took a child and placed it by his side.  Why a child?  Back then, no one listened to children.  Precisely!  Exactly!  Although no one bothered to listen to children, they still spoke up.  Although no one respected children back then, they still did all the hard labor.  They still got their hands dirty.  They still did all the lifting. 

We Christians must continue to be like children:  hidden from the world and yet the real hope of the future. 

We are not here to seek our own glory, but God's glory.  We are not trying to make a name for ourselves but to share Christ's name with others. 

Let's continue to lift up society and place it on our shoulders.  After all, if we won't, who will?


  1. Very well said Father.

    As always, great meditation,


  2. The history of the Jews is the true story...

    Are you referring to any of the portion in the Bible as true history? Some of it may have some basis in fact, but much of it certainly did not happen in the way described in the Bible.

    I know Catholics (and probably many other Christian denominations) recognize that much of the bible is not literally true (and stuff like Genesis is completely fabricated), so how do you decide what is real and what isn't, literal vs. metaphor? What would you say is the first event in the Bible that happened as described, and no I don't mean the mere mention of a person or place that existed. An actual event.

  3. What do you mean by true, anonymous? Do you mean theologically true, historically true or scientifically true? Remember, the Bible is not a science book, it is a theological book. And in this it is inerrant.

    I hate to say this but you sound like an atheist that does not know history or theology. Also, what do you mean Genesis is completely fabricated? What does that mean?

    "How do you decide what is real and what isn't, literal vs. metaphor?"

    Precisely. How do you decide? How did you decide? I will tell you how I decided. It was based on six years of studying philosophy and theology. You allow historians, theologians and research scientists to do their work and then it becomes clear. You allow archeological evidence to support your position. You allow documentation that may exist to collaborate it. But what you definitely don't do is disguise religious bigotry and ignorance as fact. Nor do you try to put words in people's mouths and then refute them and answer them for yourself.

    I would suggest that if you are really interested in dismissing the Old and New Testament so easily, then you should seriously study the Bible and use theological, historical and archeological arguments to dispute them, not baseless and clueless rhetoric that is totally worthless and useless. :)

  4. I would suggest that if you are really interested in dismissing the Old and New Testament so easily...

    Anon 2: I am a Christian. Not that it matters, but I don’t think Anon 1 is trying to dismiss the Bible but is asking how does ‘anyone’ interpret certain events in the Bible. For instance, which account of creation (in different books of Genesis) do you believe in? As a Catholic, I do not know if either one is how it literally happened… even by researching! Even JP2 said that it doesn’t matter – what matters is that God in a certain moment breathe into man his very existence. Period.

    Anon 1: Metaphors? Are you referring to Joseph Campbell? If we all “really” understood what he was trying to say, there would not be any atheists or agnostics! Also, all people of faith would respect each other’s religions and live by the golden rule which is found in all great religions!


  5. "Even JP2 said that it doesn't matter..."

    Really? Where? Dear Ruth. JPII did not say that. And I would hate that anyone would even think that.

    The problem with Anonymous 1 is that their arguments are full of outlandish bigotry and rhetoric (i.e. "fabricated").

    Genesis: The genre of the writing is of a poetic nature, with deep theological meaning based on historical facts.

    For example: Seven days of Creation.
    Historical fact: The world was created.
    Theological Fact: The world was created perfectly and in an orderly manner. (hence the Seven days).
    Poetic language: "God said." If you remember, the Word is God's Son. So from the very beginning the word was with God. Nothing came into being without the Word of God. The Word became flesh, or the Word was spoken and it happened.

    This is a tiny example of what it means to carefully study Scripture, not by ones own means but by studying the rich research that has taken place over the centuries by theologians, historians, and yes, even scientists.

  6. So which story of Genesis is literally true?


  7. Let me ask you a question before I answer your question: What do you mean by "literally" true? What are you saying?

  8. Original anonymous here...

    Quibbling over what the word true means? If I read a book on Civil War history, I would expect the events the book describes to have actually happened and be reasonably accurate. I would expect it to be true.

    I am glad you recognize the Bible isn't a science book, it would be nice if more people did as well. So scientifically true doesn't apply here.

    What does theologically true even mean? Is the Koran theologically true? Is the Book of Mormon theologically true? The Book of the Dead? What happens when two things that are theologically true conflict with each other? Is one of them no longer true? Who decides which?

    As to Genesis being completely fabricated, I mean it is made up. How is that "outlandish bigotry and rhetoric"? Aside from the fact that the earth was "created" then eventually people came along and there was quite possibly a large regional flood event, it is fiction. Or do you have any historical or archaeological evidence to suggest otherwise? Again, what is the first event in the Bible that we can be sure happened as described?

    And for what is literal vs metaphor, you said yourself Genesis is poetic. So did Noah actually exist? No. Was there an actual tower of Babel? No. Do these have deep theological meaning? If you want to apply some, sure. But did Jesus literally walk on water, raise people from the dead, water to wine, etc? How is it decided that these are literal, factual events whereas the others are not?

    1. "Quibbling over what the word true means?"

      I am waiting for a definition. You obviously do not have one. Once you can give me a definition of true, then I know what you are talking about. Otherwise, how can I dismantle all your arguments and show your incoherency and inconsistency of thought? What typically happens with atheists is that once you pummel their arguments with logic, they quickly change their definition of the words they used. I know. I have had far too many arguments.

      So define it, and then we can begin. :)


    2. Oh, and while you are at it, define "fictitious", please.

      You know anonymous, there is an old rule in war that in order to defeat your "enemy," you should know your enemy's positions.

      Based on what I have read, you clearly do not know your "enemy's" positions. No wonder why you compare a history book of the Civil War with Genesis, a book that is of a completely different genre. No wonder why you compare the Gospels (and Jesus walking on water) with Noah's ark that is of a completely different genre of writing.

      What a pity it is to reject something never understood. You sound like that MacBain lady. She is a classic atheist! Ignorant through and through.

    3. “Aside from the fact that the earth was "created" then eventually people came along and there was quite possibly a large regional flood event, it is fiction.”
      “Aside from the facts….” I love how you just brush the facts away…Don’t you think the creation narrative is an important fact for the author and what is his stated intention?
      This “aside” thing is what actually distinguishes this book from every Gentile myth, especially Enuma elis. From the text of Genesis, it is clear that it has in its substance nothing to do with the mythologies of other ancient peoples. In Enuma elis, there is no real beginning: before the gods there existed already Apsu, the personified abyss of sweet water, the male principle, and Mummu or Tiamat, the personified abyss of salt water, the female principle. There is nothing of a transcendent God, nothing of a true creation, etc…

    4. With regards to the flood, your understanding of this narrative is even more limited. You do not even aware of the discrepancies within the author’s story: in one verse he mentions the flood lasted for 40 days and nights. In another verse, it was 160 days. The animals which are taken into the Ark are mentioned simply as a pair of each species. But in 7:2, we read of seven pairs of the clean animals. In 8:2b the flood is caused by rain. But in 7:11 it is caused both by rain and the return of the primordial sea. So what does this tell you? That he was unaware of his own work??? That the Jews who edited his work were unaware of his discrepancies? Hardly. What he gave was a divinely inspired understanding of this event. Again, this is the intent of the author. You should at least respect it rather than ignore it or be oblivious to it.
      The smart reader understands that such details were not his reason for telling the story. His reason was, rather theological. This is important, because it is in this aspect that the story in Genesis is so different from the Babylonian accounts, which are completely amoral if not anti-moral. The decision of the gods to destroy the world and man is motivated by nothing more than pique and caprice. One of the gods saves his human client from the disaster for his own selfish ends and because of his rivalry with the other gods. The other gods are not even aware that man survived!

    5. But your biggest problem with Scripture, anonymous, is that you do not understand it AT ALL, and yet, you wish to dismiss it. How can you dismiss what you have not studied? You sound like MacBain, the good atheist and phony Christian, who wanted the world to believe she had a degree in Divinity, but had no degree at all.
      You’re biggest mistake is an assumption you make: that our faith begins with the Bible. This is stupid, given the fact that the Church existed before the Bible. In fact, what you need to do is start with God. Start with God. You believe in Jesus because He is God. You believe in the Church because she is Jesus’ Church. You believe in the Bible because it is the Church’s book.
      If you don’t believe in God first, you won’t believe that Jesus is God. If you don’t believe that Jesus is God, you won’t believe the Church He established is God’s Church. If you don’t believe in the Church, you won’t believe in her book, the New Testament.
      When you read about miracles, you don’t believe it. So, you interpret the author’s words as fiction. But that’s your interpretation. That’s you’re interpretation of someone else’s words. Instead, you’re interpretation should be dependent on that other person’s ideas. Hence, the authors of the Bible are trying to communicate their ideas to you. Listen!

    6. The second assumption you make is also incorrect: that the books in the Bible are all myths; that is, lies. They are not. They are historical accounts handed down from eyewitnesses. People saw the Red Sea part; people saw Jesus perform miracles. Genesis should not be read as the Gospels or Acts of the Apostles, or Kings, or Deuteronomy, etc… It is different, for no one saw God creating the Universe. But that doesn’t make it “fabricated” (whatever that means!). It is inspired, and it is absolutely historical in the standards that were recognized by its author rather than by our own. It is a history that is concerned with transmitting significance in preference to statistical detail. It is a family history. It is the story of a people and their God.

  9. Literally - Which account “actually” took place?

    There are 2 accounts of how God made the world which conflict with each other - Genesis 1 and 2. Which account of creation do you believe actually took place, actually happened?"


    1. They do not conflict with each other unless you read them incorrectly; that is, as a science book. But just think about it for a moment Ruth. Why in the world would the Jews put both accounts in the Bible if they conflicted with one another? They don't, not according to the intention of the author of Genesis.

      Which account of creation do you believe actually took place, actually happened?"

      Well, since my opinion is so important to you, I would have to say both accounts, and for different reasons. Both discuss the creation of man and woman as a very good thing, and a historical reality.

      Both accounts discuss the creation of the Universe as something willed and wanted by God, a theological and divinely inspired revelation.

      Both accounts discuss the dignity of the human person. Eve was created by the side of man, a theological revelation that woman is equal to man and at his side, a theological and divinely inspired reality, if not a historical reality given man's tendency to dominate woman. This is portrayed in the Bible as a result of sin.

      In one account man and woman are placed in charge of all creation: a scientific, historical and theological truth.


    2. Man and woman placed in charge of creation is a scientific and historical truth? Care to demonstrate?

    3. JR - “Don’t give holy things to dogs.”

      This comes from a verse in the book of Matthew, which was written in Greek. Dog in Greek is "Kyon", and the origin for the term "Cynic". So, only share your beliefs with like-minded or open-minded individuals, and not cynics.

      Cynic: a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or “minimizes” selfless acts or “disinterested points of view” (my quotations).

      Anon 1: Your writings confirm for me that you are not really searching for the truth….at least not now. Honestly, what is your intention for writing & questioning the way you do?


    4. "Man and woman placed in charge of creation is a scientific and historical truth? Care to demonstrate?"

      Sure, anonymous. With pleasure.

      Have you heard that bees are getting dessimated by a bacterial infection? Who is solving their problem? Who is working on a cure? Who? The bees or man?

      Do you want more examples?

      Ruth. Anonymous writes on this blog because they are desperate for attention. They wish to harass believers. Thry are not interested in the truth. Forget about that. Get it out of your mind. They are interested in stripping others of the joy they lost long ago.

      I take pleasure in highlighting and exposing their errors and ignorance. I have yet to meet an atheist who knows Christianity ad other religions better than I do. It's not hype. It's facts.

    5. So who was in charge of creation for the 13.5 billion or so years before mankind showed up? That is assuming by creation you mean the entire universe.

      You do realize that species come and go. It's part of the natural cycle.

    6. JR - I guess you're right.

      Someone on this blog once said that evil will expose itself. I am starting to see this too!

      The rebel in me does not like to obey rules just to obey rules. I want to know why - what is the meaning behind this rule that will help me? What is God trying to tell me that will help me see the light? What is your opinion? Do you have a good reason that we "should not give holy things to dogs."?


    7. "So who was in charge of creation for the 13.5 billion or so years before mankind showed up? That is assuming by creation you mean the entire universe."

      Did I say that they were in charge at the beginning of creation? NO. You must have ass-umed it.

      "13.5 billion." I like the ".5" makes it sound so precise, Anonymous. Are you used to sounding so precise? If so, then you should have picked up your own error and poor rendering of my words.

      "You do realize that species come and go."

      You do realize how stupid you sound. Species do not come and go. Some came and went. Not all. Especially not man. He will not come and go.

      "It's part of the natural cycle." Then why are we fighting it? Why are we trying to save the bees. Let them go. Don't you think?

    8. Well, when was man put in charge?

      Species come and go. It is estimated that 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. That is more than some. I hope you like the .9 as well.

      Why are we fighting it? Because humans like the status quo. The bees go, many different foods become scares, economies shift, etc.

  10. I thought that was you JR!

    Sorry, but you did not answer my question. My question was which one do you believe "literally" happened? You are not allowed to say both. It is logically impossible.

    I saw your response to Anon 1 and I get what you are trying to say, but you won't directly answer my question. Do you see how arguments happen? We are talking 2 different languages!!

    Don't worry though, I don't take that you called me a liar personally. It's just that you do not understand what I'm trying to say and you won't answer it directly. No problem if you can't.


  11. Don't worry, Ruth. I won't take it personally, because you're not making any sense.

    When you ask which account literally happened you're asking the wrong question. When you're asking me to choose between the two accounts, you're committing a logical fallacy (birfurcation fallacy).

    You are completely ignoring the intention of the author. Again, the author knew perfectly well the two stories in the Book of Genesis. You are totally ignoring the primary reason why he held on to both stories. It should be clear: the first story relates primarily with the creation of the Universe. The "second" story focuses primarily on the creation of man (humanity) and his relationship with creation.

    You are absolutely right. I do not understand what you are saying. And I am confident that you do not have a clue to what I am saying. But what I am saying makes a heck of a lot more sense than what you are saying. Goodbye!


  12. "But what I am saying makes a heck of a lot more sense than what you are saying." Only to you dear JR.

    I have to tell you my answer since you asked! Neither one happened literally! The 2 accounts are both metaphors, as Anon 1 referred to! But guess what? I fully agree with your answer - not the one you did not answer - but your explanation. If these words were inspired by the Holy Spirit which I believe they are, there is absolutely no way that our pea-brains could comprehend "the things of God" or maybe how He really made it. No eye has seen, no ear has heard.... It's not that I believe in creation or evolution. I couldn't care less how God made the world. Why argue over the details? It's the MEANING BEHIND THE WORDS. So these words are timeless: 2000 years ago and today. It's exactly what you said!!! You just missed the exact answer: Neither one is literally true! Not both :)

    As Father has said time and again, we just take ourselves too serious :)

    If we always have to win an argument, we will never grow spiritually. Believe me, I know!

    Not to make you mad or anything, but please read Father's meditation for today. You just might want to be a little skeptical of your assurance :)



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