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!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lk 17:11-19 Understanding Gratitude

Sunday of the Twenty-Eighth Week In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

As Jesus was entering a village, ten lepers met him.  They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master!  Have pity on us!"  And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests."  As they were going they were cleansed.  ...One of them, realizing he had been healed, returned...and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.

It's all about gratitude.  After I read today's Gospel passage, one word came to mind:  gratitude.  It's all about gratitude.  Ten lepers were cleansed but only one of them gave thanks to the Lord.  Terrible!  But how come?

Are you a grateful person?  Do you pray?

Why pray?  Just the very act of praying signifies gratitude.  So if you pray often and well, then you are a grateful person.  You are also a very humble person.  After all, to pray means to acknowledge God's presence and give your life up to the Lord. 

So why didn't the other nine lepers thank Jesus?  Because they did not pray.  Why don't we thank God enough?  Because we don't pray enough.

I deserve this!  I expect this!  I earned this!  I demand so much from others and from the Lord.  There it is!  We have all been taught to think how special we are.  I am convinced it was a cover up to mask how miserable we really are.  After all, to convince people of something, sometimes all it takes is repeating it over and over again.

Hence, we have multiple generations of folks who believe they deserve what they want, when they want it and how they want it.  Not only that, but they also believe they have done all it takes to get what they deserve. 

Gratitude is no where to be found!  And neither is prayer.

They have caught the scent of self-entitlement.  They have been diagnosed with the disease of always expecting something from someone.  They have been coco-washed to think they did it all with their own two hands!  I desire this!  I earned this!  It's all me!

In today's Gospel passage, we have ten lepers who were healed with no strings attached.  In today's first reading, we have St. Paul in chains on account of the Lord Jesus.  What is going on here?  I thought the more you prayed the more you received?  Doesn't he deserve better?  Doesn't he deserve to live longer?

Prayer is not shopping for gifts.  It is first and foremost adoration and thanksgiving.  Come what may, I must acknowledge the Lord and give thanks to Him...for He is good!  Actually, He is always good.  And I am always loved.  Chains or no chains.  Cured or not cured.  St. Paul understood this because he prayed "His Will be done."
Our life is a gift from God.  What we do with it is our gift to him.

Those who pray well are full of gratitude and humility.  They are full of wonder and amazement.  They know they deserve little.  They know never to take anything or anyone for granted.  They don't live expecting more but rather less!

I earned this!  Sometimes children pray to God like they dialogue with their parents:  harshly.  If you don't know what I mean, then just imagine you, parent, are God and your children are like Adam and Eve (disobedient) or Cain and Abel (clawing each other to death).  Now you know what I mean.  There is little gratitude in their speech and far less respect for you are.  But there are a lot of demands and threats made upon you!  And it can all easily escalate into starring each other down.

Unfortunately, our childish and twisted relationship extends to God as well.  And I will be the first to admit it.  I am the first to exert my "I" over God's "I", as if my "I" could even compare to God's "I"; or my "I am" with God's "I am", as if my "I am" could even make sense without God's "I AM".  Finally, I push the Lord's button with "I did this!"  while completely ignoring all that the Lord has done for me.

But in prayer, I am gratefully reminded: "With the Lord, nothing is impossible." 

Lord I need you.  Lord I need you.  Every hour I need you... 

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours!  Amen.  Now this is a prayer worth hearing:  short and sweet, and to the point.

We need to be as grateful as St. Paul.  He considered himself blessed not only because he passed through the fire, but because he stepped up to it. 

Please share this meditation with your friends and family.  Thank you!  :)

1 comment:

  1. I listened to your Sunday Homilies. Decided to read 2 Timothy. I cried. How beautiful. Thank you Father. Thank you St. Paul. Thank you God, for pulling me into this true church and giving me this wonderful family.


Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.