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!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mk 12:28-34 Put A Little Heart Into It

Friday of the Third Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)

The scribe said to Jesus, "Well said, teacher.  You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he.  And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."  And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."  And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

No one asked any more questions.  Are you kidding me?  How could anyone leave it at that!  This is not right.  It's not fair!  What did Jesus mean when He said, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."  What's missing???  I can't believe no one asked any more questions.  This is awful.  I wouldn't be satisfied with someone saying to me, "You're 70% right."  Oh, great.  Thanks a lot!  So what's missing?  What did I forget?

Which is the first of all the commandments The Lord answered the scribe's question by saying:  "Hear O Israel!  The Lord our God is Lord alone!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.  The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." 

The scribe basically nodded his head and said in reply, "Ditto."  But apparently this was not enough for Jesus or to enter the Kingdom of God.  Something was still missing.

Well then, what would be enough for God?  Christ made it abundantly clear that knowing the commandments was good, but not enough.  And obeying them was very good, but not enough.  I think He would say we were close but still not there, like 50% not there. 

What's missing?  The other commandments?  No.  Not the other commandments, but the most important aspect in all the commandments:  the heart.  Commandments, like rules, need a heart.  And guess what?  Ours is it.  Is yours still missing?

It's not enough just to know the commandments and to live them.  We need our heart to ignite them.  We must fall in love with God's Will.  

Let's be honest.  We're all good at faking.  We're all good at pretending we like what we're doing, even when we don't.  We're also very good at letting people know when we don't like what we're doing, even though it is something good and noble.

Jesus, our Savior, is insisting we put our heart into what we are doing, especially when we are doing His Will in our lives.

Commandments need a heart, just like music needs emotions.

It's not enough just to be able to read music.  It's not enough just to be able to play music, even a robot can do that!  What we need to do is put some emotion into our music.  This is what drives fans insane.

When I was a kid I went wild listening to The Who.  I went wilder when I saw one of them smash their guitar on stage.  That's emotion!  Our grandmas went wild when they heard Elvis Presley sing.  They went even wilder when he threw one of his filthy sweaty towels at them.  Yuck!

Christ is inviting us to put some heart - some passion - into His music.

There is nothing wrong with the Lord's commandments.  They don't need to be erased, added or modified or updated.  They simply need a heart like His to operate them. 

And even though Christ lived over two thousand years ago, His words and actions are as challenging today as they were back then (They are also as inspiring and thrilling today as they were back then.).  

So maybe what is missing from our lives is not so much His Will as it is His passion.  And we know He gave every drop of it to us.


  1. Passion, in the emotional sense and not the sacrificial sense, can go two different ways. Like you said, it can ignite virtuous action and thought in an individual, or it can push the wrong kind of action and thought in that person. Many churches thrive off of people's emotions, but emotions lack the permanence of conversion, of proper spiritual orientation. Like a popular rock band, these churches grow quickly and die quickly, and their members, like rock fans, eventually lose interest and seek other things.

    First, one must orient himself in the way that God intended, first loving Him and loving his neighbor. Then, he may take joy in this calling, loving God ardently and loving one's neighbor ardently, the two actions complementing one another. Too often people pick one or the other, loving only God and forming a closed-off community (the Pharisees; many churches today), or loving only neighbor and forming an unsustainable community that often goes astray (ancient philosophical schools; hippies; populist movements). Rather, the two commands together must form the life of a Christian, and then he may follow these commands with joy brought by the inspiration conferred by the Holy Spirit.

  2. Jesus, our Savior, is insisting we put our heart into what we are doing, especially when we are doing His Will in our lives.

    One day last week I was walking my dog early in the morning...early for me, anyway. I saw the trash men (and woman!) rounding the corner to pick up our neighborhood's trash. I waved and smiled at the driver; he waved and smiled back at me. By the time I finished my walk, and I was close to my home, the truck took off right in front of me. I saw the two people on the back, hanging on. So I yelled at them, "thank you for all you do for everyone! I hope you have a great day." The 60ish year old man yelled back at me with a big white smile and said, "And I hope you have the most blessed day ever. God bless you."

    I stopped and looked up at the beautiful sky. 'Now that guy is doing something that does not bring prestige to his reputation. He may not even love his job (but it looked like he did!), but because of his attitude of 'happy to be alive', he has brought honor to himself and God. What a great example of passion for life and God!


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