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, June 26, 2014

Mt 7:210-29 House of Cards

Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples:  "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

I am shocked!  Christ's words today a bit disconcerting to me, for it seems like the ones who are doing great things are not going to make it far in the future.  He says to his disciples, "Many will say to me...'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?  Did we not drive out demons in your name?  Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?' Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you.  Depart from me, you evildoers.'"

Ouch!  These people are evildoers?  Com'on.  What's going on?

Pride and annoyance.  All talents and gifts come from the Lord.  What we do with them are our gifts back to Him.  If we forget this, we run the risk of being forgotten and left out.

A few years ago I received a letter from a parishioner demanding that something be done to silence our Catholic congregation.  Apparently, they did not consider it appropriate or respectful or prayerful to applaud after a homily. [I hoped they were not upset because the noise disturbed their sleep!]

Anyways, they insisted that something be done about it.  

Well, there is nothing wrong with driving out demons, doing mighty deeds in His name, and a congregation applauding after a long as it doesn't go to the disciple's head!

Notice:  Out of all the examples the Lord could have used, why did He have to use "driving out demons" and performing "mighty deeds in His name?"  Why not something more frivolous and ridiculous, like praying to God for a successful terrorist attack or drug cartel hit?  Why did the Lord take great achievements and turn them into stone? 

Sure, we all want to do great things for the Lord.  But we have to be careful it doesn't turn into something less Godly, like ourselves. 

The Lord's warning is well-founded because it is well-rooted in sinful human pride; and pride is not always obvious - it can easily be masked as piety and holiness.

Sure, I want to give a great homily for the Lord.  Sure, I want to please my congregation, but am I doing it for the Lord or am I doing it more for myself?  That is the heavenly question! 

Today, the Lord is inviting His disciples to examine their conscience. 

Do I work just as hard on my weekday homilies as I do on weekend ones?  No.  Not at all.  Why?  Because the congregation is smaller, less awake and don't give an offering (just kidding).

Do I turn down invitations from organizations because they are irrelevant or small in numbers? 

Do I pray "better" when I am alone or with other people?  This is like saying, "Do I use table manners when I dine alone or just when I am around other people?"  Understand?

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock."

House of cards.  To prevent your life from falling apart, earnestly and energetically examine your conscience.  Every so often we need to examine our conscience.  In doing so, we will find our faults and weaknesses, but also the resources and graces to reinforce our lives. 


  1. Everything comes from God and is for His glory alone! One of my favorite lines from the movie Chariots of Fire:

    Eric Liddell: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

    1. That is a great movie. I wish they made more movies like that. Chariots of Fire, the Mission, A Man for All Seasons (this one's a bit older, but it's still great), each had the capacity to inspire. Now, movies only aim to entertain or provoke and usually do a poor job despite the millions heaped upon the production and marketing.

      I'll be honest, father, I'm not a big fan of applause at Mass. People should give praise through the liturgy, and if they liked your homily, they should tell you so after the Mass. Clapping has the tendency to reduce the Mass to religious entertainment, a mere show put on for the sake of the congregation. It leads people to judge the style of a priest's preaching style instead of the truths on which preaches. The Mass should not be centered on the priest, or the congregation, but on the Holy Trinity. We humble ourselves; we depend on God and the Eucharist; we do not pray loudly to get attention, as the Pharisees seemed to do, but solemnly and sincerely, as Christ did. We respond to a good show with applause, but we respond to God's Word and Holy Communion with awe and reverence.

      In my mind, Christ might have been indicating this in this gospel reading. He does not reward those who simply invoke His name, but those who do His will. This means we humble ourselves before Him: first, we learn of His will, and conform our will to His; second, we do His will instead of doing our own; third, we give thanks that we may learn and do His will because this has made our lives much better than if we had followed our own will. Christ is a better foundation than our appetites or logic. Doing His will keeps us grounded here on earth and will later grant us eternal happiness up in heaven because doing His will keeps us close to Him.


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