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, December 16, 2013

Mt 21:23-27 Better to Ask than to Answer

Monday of the Third Week of Advent
(Click here for readings)

The chief priests and the elders of the people approached [Jesus] as he was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things?  And who gave you this authority?"

Every time I reflect upon this Gospel passage my mind goes back to 2012 and the "controversial" remarks made by Chic-Fil-A's President, Dan Cathy, regarding gay-marriage and familyYou may not remember how the whole thing started, but I do:  with a simple question.

By what authority are you doing these things?   Why are the chief priests and elders asking Jesus this question? Why isn't He giving them a straight answer?  Did the Lord lose a great opportunity to set the record straight?  Of course not! We all know there was no real interest on the part of the elders and priests to hear the honest-to-God truth about Him.  Simply put, this was all a setup; an attempt to have the Lord mocked, arrested and put to death. 

Don't fall for it.  When is it the right moment to share the Good News with others?  Always!  Where is the best place to do it? Everywhere. 

Don't be so na├»ve.  People will not just come up to you and say, "Baptize me!"  If they do, it means someone else got to them first, right? 

Every day is the right time and everywhere is the best place to share the Good News with others.  Don't fall for the trap of waiting for someone to "fall into the trap."  It won't happen.  It shouldn't happen.  Traps are for hunters, and Christians do not set traps.  If anything, they are often blind lovers who get hunted down by mean-spirited individuals.  Don't fall into other people's traps.  The Lord didn't.  He knew how to navigate through all sorts of people:  rough people, calm people, deceptively nice people, shallow people, deep people, transparent people, and murky people.  

I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. 

Get smarter.  What's the best way to share your faith with others?  By getting to know others.  Know what others think, honestly think.  That's what the Lord did.  When asked, he asked.  And for good reason.  He thought to himself:  "Are you really ready to hear what I have to say?"  The answer was clear. 

Over the years, I have learned to ask rather than to answer.  By doing so, I have learned more about others, and earned their respect.  And I can honestly say it has made me a better man, better priest and better Christian.  We men have a tendency to never ask questions.  We tend to pull out the tool box immediately.  The result can be awful if your a car owner and devastating if your a patient. 

By reading through the Gospels, it becomes apparent the Lord asked more questions than He ever answered.  Good for Him.  He knew full well that when you ask you not only reveal what others think, you also reveal what you think as well.

That may explain how Pope Francis is not only TIME magazine's Person of the Year but also an ultra-left leaning and LGBT magazine's ( The Advocate ) as wellIn defense of their pick, they chose Pope Francis' words from a recent interview he gave:

Francis's view on how the Catholic Church should approach LGBT people was best explained in his own words during an in-depth interview with America magazine in September. He recalled, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

Are you ready to give an answer for your faith and bring a heart closer to Christ?  Better to ask than to answer.

2 comments:

  1. Funny.... Today I just happen to read this meditation on my phone while waiting in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru!

    This gospel message always challenges me. I never really understood why the scribes and priests questioned Jesus in the first place. It all seemed pre-meditated and a means of trickery. A foolish game since Jesus knew exactly what they were trying to do.

    I sometimes get annoyed when I ask a question and somebody answers me with a question. I think, "Oh come on. Please? Can't you just tell me?" But then I realize "Well, this person is encouraging me to find the answer on my own. It must be pretty obvious, and if it's not, well I'm meant to take the time and research the answer."

    I've found over the years most people love to talk about themselves! So, asking them questions and getting to know them is the "smart" way to share the faith. Also, I find if I continue reading and studying the faith I'm challenged to question others about their own beliefs. This way I engage in interfaith dialog. I find most people are welcome to hearing the Catholic point of view, especially now we have wonderful Pope Francis as our leader!

    On a side note, I'm been so inspired by the Pope's "Evangelii Gaudium." Something the Pope wrote I think we should keep in mind: "Today, our challenge is not so much atheism as the need to respond adequately to many people’s thirst for God, lest they try to satisfy it with alienating solutions or with a disembodied Jesus who demands nothing of us with regard to others."

    Blessings,

    -Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  2. I added some things near the bottom. How fitting for today's Gospel readings.

    ReplyDelete

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