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!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Luke 14:1, 7-14 How To Be Loved A Lot More

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.  He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at table.  "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor....the host who invited you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place."

Once upon a time, there was a poor man named Robert Miles.  He walked into a New York City convenient store to purchase a scratch-off lottery ticket.  It turns out he was a winner.  But the owners of the convenience store, two brothers (Andy and Nayel Ashkar), convinced poor Robert that he had only won five thousand dollars.  So they took the lottery ticket away from Robert and gave him four thousand dollars in cash and sent him away.

When the two brothers came forward with the winning ticket, lottery officials awarded them five million dollars.  Robert Miles couldn't believe it and wept bitterly.  He thought to himself, "Who would believe a poor man from New York City."

Unfortunately, this isn't a fairy-tale.  It's a true story.  

But fortunately, like a fairy-tale, it has a very happy ending.

After six years and a lengthy legal battle,  Robert Miles was awarded five million dollars.  One of the two brothers, Andy Ashkar, was found guilty of possessing stolen property and sentenced to 8 1/3-to-25 years in prison.

End of story...for now.

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

Who then is the humble person? 

St. Francis of Assisi was a humble man because he was first a rich man, not a poor man; that is, he took his wealth and gave it all away. 

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a humble man because he once sat in St. Peter's chair; and with his own power got off it and left it all behind.   

Pope Francis is a humble man, for he reaches out to people as often as they reach out to him...and maybe even more.  He is the first Pope to ever appear in a selfie. [It's really an "usie".  I'm so glad I know the difference!]

Apparently, to be humble requires three things:  (1) to hold some position of authority; (1) to not let it go to your head;  and (3) to trust a lot in God.

"Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed" (Mt. 8:8).  The centurion who spoke these words was truly a humble man.  He held some position of authority, he didn't let it go to his head, and he had great trust (faith) in the Lord. 

Taking the lowest place.  It's not clear how things turned out after Jesus gave this parable at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.  I wouldn't be surprised if the meal came to an abrupt end.

Christ is humble not only because He is God, but because He is Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter's son.  God is humble because He went from heaven into "hell" to be with us.

Being Lord did not go to His head.  On the contrary, it went through his feet, his hands and his side. 

Jesus said, "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart."  Christ is truly meek and humble of heart because He has absolutely nothing to gain from us.  

His love is a mystery because He thinks we are worth something.

What the Lord so beautifully teaches us, and what often takes a lifetime to learn, is that the more humble you are, the more powerful; the more meaningful; the more relevant; and the more memorable you become.

"My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts" (Sir 3:17).

12 comments:

  1. This meditation was a reminder to me about being humble, which I often forget to be. Thank you.

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  2. "Apparently, to be humble requires three things:...and (3) to trust a lot in God."

    So people like Ghandi and the Dalai Lama are not humble?

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  3. Wow! So people like Ghandi and the Dalai Lama were atheists?

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  4. No, but I bet they did/do not believe in God.

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  5. Thank you for completely ignoring my question.

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  6. I don't think Father is ignoring your questions. I think you're not making much sense.

    He asked if Ghandi and the Dalai Lama were atheists. You said no. And then, you said, "but I bet they did/do not believe in God."

    That makes no sense whatsoever. But atheists typically make no sense. So, it makes sense that you are completely frustrated.

    J.R.

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  7. Another humble saint I'd add to the list: Saint Catherine of Siena. I started reading Catherine's "The Dialogue." Her great trust in the Lord and courageousness is very admiring. She's one of my favorite saints. (It was neat to be able to visit Siena, Italy a few years ago.)

    Speaking of atheists, on HBO I watched a comedy special by a Dane Cook. I can't recommend him as a clean comedian. Most of his show was full of filthy talk and hyper-sexual jokes. During the beginning of his performance, he told the audience how he grew up Catholic and was taught to always say "God Bless You" when someone sneezed. One time a man sneezed really hard without covering his mouth. Disgusted, Dane told him "God Bless You." The sneezer responded: "I'm an atheist!" Oh boy....So the comedian and this guy started debating back and forth. Finally Dane asked the atheist (paraphrasing): "So, where will you end up after death?" The atheist responded, "I will be sent back to the ground to be one with the earth. I will help fertilize the soil...." Dane starts thinking, "Hmmm.....So let's say this atheist dies and then grows into a beautiful large tree. Then I come along with my very large chainsaw and chop that tree down. It falls to the ground and hurled off to the lumber yard. It goes through a paper mill. Low and behold that tree is made into a bible!!!" The whole audience roared with laughter. I thought it was pretty funny myself.

    Have a great Tuesday.

    -Jennifer

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  8. What does not make sense? Atheists are not the only people who do not believe in God. I would say every member of a non-Abrahamic religion does not believe in God, people like Ghandi and the Dalai Lama.

    Father made a claim that to be humble, you have to believe in God. According to that logic, nobody who has not heard of God (say in the Americas before Europeans came over) could have been humble. How does that make sense?

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  9. "I would say every member of a non-Abrahamic religion does not believe in God."

    I would say that every member of a non-Abrahamic religion believes in God. They may not know the fullness of the faith, but they do know that they should have faith, and that takes great humility.

    I don't want to shock you, but the leaders of the world's great religions gather together every year (in Assisi) and discuss the things of God. And no one seems to think the others do not believe in God. Isn't that interesting.

    You must be atheist, who knows neither God or religion.

    -J.R.

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    Replies
    1. "...every member of a non-Abrahamic religion believes in God."

      No, they believe in a god or gods (definition of a deity), but not GOD (proper name). Hindus no more believe in God than Christians believe in Shiva, Ganesh, etc.

      Unless Father's point is that in order to be humble, you need to believe in a supernatural entity, no matter if it actually exists or not.

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  10. ...And is not humble enough to admit it. Hahahaha! :)

    ReplyDelete

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