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!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jn 8:51-59 Taking Christ's Word For It

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to the Jews:  "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death."  So the Jews said to him, "Now we are sure that you are possessed.  Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say 'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.'  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?...Who do you make yourself out to be?"

From Life to Living.  We all have life, but that doesn't mean we're all living.  To live in sin and fear is not living, it means barely surviving.  To transition from surviving to succeeding requires living in Christ Jesus.   

"Remain in me as I remain in you" (Jn 15:4). "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (Jn 8:31).

"You will truly be my disciples" is another way of saying, "You will truly be alive." 

Abram was always alive, but he was not always living.  He began to live when he began to believe, and he began to believe when he took a leap of faith and left everything he ever knew for God's sake and for good.  It was from this moment on that Abram became known as Abraham.  His life took on a whole new meaning.  His change of name reflected a change of heart, mind, will and strength.  The old man was dead.  A star was born.   He went from being an insect (in the eyes of many) to a Patriarch (in the eyes of God); a small town boy to the father of millions (if not billions) of stars.  Wow!  What a change.  Talk about turning someone's life upside down and right side up! 

This is what God did through him, with him and in him. 

This is what He can do through us, with us and in us, if only we give him our permission.

Whoever keeps my word will not see death.  Sin kills.  It kills the mind, heart, body and soul.  It decapitates the mind, aggravates the heart and disintegrates the soul.  By now, you would think we had figured this out.  We haven't.  If saints die young, then sinners die younger.

Although it's bad enough that most people today are standing on their head, what makes it worse is how oblivious they are to it.  When the Church speaks out against premarital sex, people throw their hands up in protest.  But when Katy Perry and company glamorize drinking and partying - every Friday night - then young people throw their hats up in the air in agreement.  You might say, "Well, what the Pope says matters to over one billion people."  That may be true, but what Lady Gaga and Katy Perry think has just as much of an influence as the Pope.  In fact, individually, they have more people following them on twitter than he does.  Where is the responsibility?  Where is the accountability?    No where.  Standing on our heads.

This morning I gave a talk out at Christ the King School (CKS).  It is, without doubt, one of the finest schools in Dallas, if not the entire United States of America.  Their mission is simple:  train students to be saints, to succeed, not just survive.  This may sound obvious, but it is not, for so many schools today are trying to survive; that is, they are trying hard just to get their students to graduate.  Unfortunately, for many fine administrators, graduation rates have become the new metric of success, rather than an indication of the state of our society and families. 

What are we to do?  I'm not sure, but we shouldn't be redefining success or faking it or lowering it.  That's for sure.

The Lord told the Pharisees what they needed to hear, and it wasn't exactly what they wanted to hear. 

Lent is all about taking Christ's word for it, and not just His life.


  1. Sin kills. It decapitates the mind, body and soul......

    No offense Father, but you can talk about sin and the evils of life till the cows come home, but I don't think this motivates the majority of people to live for Christ, not in this day and age. It may scare them into being 'good' which does work for some so that they can get to heaven.... But is this really living as Christ? I think that Christ was trying to get the Pharisees off the hardline of rules and condemnation (and just getting to heaven by ourselves) and on the page of loving and compassion (and the focus of getting to heaven only by living an authentic and loving life which will bring many people to heaven w me.) Maybe I'm just more sensitive to this issue because of my own sinfulness.

    I love what St John XXIII said: ''Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in but with what it is still possible for you to do.''

  2. No offense Father... Don't worry. No offense taken.

    I'm not sure how you can say what you say regarding sin. Resorting to "this day of age" is meaningless. Sin is sin. And it doesn't look any prettier today than it did 2000 years ago.

    Finally, not sure how you can separate Christ's death from our sins? Isn't that the reason for his death?

    I like St John XXIII. I also like what he wrote about sin.

  3. “Resorting to "this day of age" is meaningless.” You’re right. Sin is sin. My emphasis is on the mentality of youth today compared to Jesus’ time. It’s so much easier to get drugs, alcohol, pornography & sex today than it was long ago. It’s more acceptable by the youth & Hollywood compared to then. So how do we motivate youth of today to be more like Christ? Talking about how bad alcohol, drugs and sex are? Of course we must talk about the dangers of it (which you were doing) but that’s not motivating in and of itself. This is my only point I was trying to make.
    So is partying a sin? Not getting drunk, not having sex, just partying. Is this a sin? Didn’t Jesus party at the wedding feast of Cana? “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” In the end, what is the meaning of partying? I understand what it can lead to, but that’s not what I’m asking.
    Growing up, I loved to dance. Drinking was legal at 18. So I drank and danced. My parents wouldn’t have let me go out and ‘sin’, but they didn’t see anything wrong with dancing and drinking at that age. I was a 'good' girl, I just liked to dance and drinking was legal. When my parents went out on a date, that’s where they went: dancing. And I know my dad had a drink or two.

    “Finally, not sure how you can separate Christ's death from our sins? Isn't that the reason for his death? “ You can look at Jesus’ death from so very many angles. Isn’t this one of the main reasons for the divisions in Christianity? Protestants interpret it many ways, depending on the denomination, Catholics another. Yes, He died because of our ignorance, because of our sins. But for me, more importantly, He gave us an example of how to live like Him – “Don’t try to convince people with your words how to live like me. If you die to yourself, you will see that you will first convince yourself of My love for you. You will be a new man. Your example of how you live will convince those that are ready to be convinced.”

    Thanks for your comments.

  4. "So how do we motivate youth of today to be more like Christ? Talking about how bad alcohol, drugs and sex are? Of course we must talk about the dangers of it (which you were doing) but that’s not motivating in and of itself."

    I agree. In it of itself it is not motivating. It is only a part, and a part that cannot be ignored or brushed over.

    "You can look at Jesus’ death from so very many angles. Isn’t this one of the main reasons for the divisions in Christianity?"

    Actually, no. This is the one thing that all Christians agree on: Jesus died for our sins. Of course, he died because he loved us. But he also died for our sins.

    I'm not sure if you are aware of the season we are in right now. It's Lent. So of course many of my meditations are about Lent, and reflecting on our sins is a fundamental part of Lent. Sin is not - in it of itself - Lent, but it is a significant part of our Lent. It is the first step towards forgiveness, reconciliation, and a recreated heart.

  5. Thanks for your comments. Always a pleasure.


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