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, December 22, 2013

Mt 1:18-24 Believing The Dream, Not Just The Facts.

Fourth Sunday of Advent
(Click here for readings)

When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.  Such was his intention...

T'is the Season for Reason.  They're back!!!  Our new neighbors are at it again.  Atheists around the country are inviting Christians to spend their Christmas season celebrating reason rather than the birth of the most unreasonable God, Jesus Christ!

How sad.  Imagine for a moment if everything you ever did was always for a reason.  How boring would that be?  How boring life would be!  How predictable.  How awful.  It has got to be the worst way to live life!  

Christmas can be just as awful as well, especially if it is lived as a season of reason.  Imagine for a moment if your boss gave you a Christmas gift.  Now what do you have to do?  You have to give him a gift as well!!!  T'is the season for reason!

No thanks!  If gifts are given for a reason, especially a very serious reason, then this is the worst type of Christmas EVER. 

T'is the season to be unreasonable!  At the beginning of my homily, I walked over to a gentleman and handed him a gift.  It was a rosary.  Why did I do it?  For no reason.  Why did I give it to him?  For absolutely no reason.  And when I asked the stranger if he knew why I was giving him this present, he simply shook his head and said, "I don't know."  I thought to myself, "Hm...Although there was no rhyme or reason for me to give him a rosary, maybe God had a reason."  After Mass I found out the gentleman did not know what a rosary was or even how to pray it.  So he asked a stranger if they could teach him.

For sure the congregation couldn't believe what had happened.  Even though they all saw it they never expected it.  They were definitely surprised by it.  To them it didn't make any sense.  But maybe this is what Christmas is all about.  T'is the season for being a bit unreasonable!

I have decided to give out more gifts to complete strangers.  I'm not excited about it.  It doesn't make me feel any better.  But I know this is the reason for the season. 

How can this be?  Mary couldn't believe what she was hearing, so she asked the angel, "How can this be?"  Joseph couldn't believe what he was hearing from Mary's lips.  "How can this be?" His reason told him to divorce her. But then he had a dream...and the rest is history. 

When was the last time you believed your dream?  But dreams are so crazy!  This is so unreasonable!   Yes!  And yet Joseph decided to believe more in his dream than in the brutal facts.  His decision was based on his faith in the prophets and in his experiences.  It is amazing what faith can do:  it can get us to participate in the most amazing story ever told and ever lived.

And there is nothing boring about this story or his life!

I am reminded of another person's unbelievable dream. 

Bah humbug. From A Christmas Carol...

This lunatic, in letting Scrooge's nephew out, had let two other people in.  They were portly gentlemen, pleasant to behold, and now stood, with their hats off, in Scrooge's office. 

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman taking up his pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.  Many thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.  "Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman...
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge.  "Are they still in operation?
"They are.  Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
..."Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge.

..."A few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.  We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.   What shall I put you down for?"
"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.
"You wish to remain anonymous?"
"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge.  "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer.  I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry.  I help to support the establishments I have mentioned - they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.  Besides - excuse me - I don't know that."
"But you might know it," observed the gentleman.
"It is not my business," Scrooge returned.  "It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's....Good afternoon, gentlemen!"....

You know what?  I hate to say it, but many people would find no fault in Scrooge's reasoning.  In fact, they would say he was being very reasonable:  I don't make merry myself at Christmas why should I make idle people merry?  "It's enough for a man to understand his own business.  Why should I interfere with other people's business?"

This is scary.  Isn't it amazing how reasonable many people can be?  Leave the poor to the poor.  They deserve what they get, especially today, with so many kids dropping out of College and getting addicted to drugs and alcohol.  The world needs a decrease in the surplus population.  Good riddance to rubbish! 

T'is the season for reason?  I don't think so.

But then Ebenezer Scrooge had a dream, and everything changed.  
So did Martin Luther King Jr. and his life and story forever changed. 

Merry Christmas, Father.  Yesterday, I went to visit a dying man who only has a few days left to live.  As I was leaving his room, he called out to me and said, "Father, if I don't see you again...Merry Christmas!"

I thought to myself:  Merry Christmas???  How can this be? 

From Pope Francis:  "The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus...I realize of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty.  Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved."

All You Need Is Love.  Of course we could say that Love is the reason for the season, and that love is the ultimate reason God does what He does (and we give to others).  But if you have ever fallen in love, then you know perfectly well that lovers are crazy people who make strange faces and noises, and no sense at all. 

Which brings us back to square one. 

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