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, July 3, 2014

Jn 20:24-29 He Missed Him By Ten Minutes

Feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle
(Click here for readings)

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."  But Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Just like one of us.  I love Thomas. He's straightforward, human and even humble - yes, humble! - and I just love humble and honest people.  They make so much sense to me. 

Let's face it: People like Thomas make the Gospels come to life - to my life!  What happened to him happens to me.

I can't believe my eyes.  I leave for ten minutes and the world has turned upside down.  A minute ago we were all wondering what to do with our lives - how to reintegrate back into society - the next minute everyone is jumping up for joy, high fiving and chest bumping.  What in the world has happened?  Why is everyone so happy except for me?

What happened?  The Lord appeared and I wasn't there! That's what happened!  Graces were overflowing left and right and I received NOTHING! 

Everyone was lucky but me.

Thomas is just like me and I know exactly how he feels.

Thomas and Choctaw.  A couple of months ago, my dad flew from New York to Texas to visit me.  After only a few days in town I ran out of ideas and places to go, so I took him up to Oklahoma to visit the "famous" Choctaw Casino.  I thought it might be fun and, who knows, maybe we might get lucky. 

It took us about two hours to get there.  From the outside the place looked beautiful, but I found myself a little disappointed the moment I stepped in.  The gigantic gambling room smelled like cigarette smoke.  I was shocked but not surprised.  After all, the owners want their customers to feel as comfortable as possible for as many hours and dollars as possible on their addicting machines. 

I'm not a gambler and so I was a little reluctant to start gambling.  Let's just say I've heard too many horror stories about people losing thousands of dollars in a day and unable to stop for years. At first my dad and I agreed to spend only $10.00, but that quickly changed to $20.00.  I know it's not really "gambling."  Anyways, we found a spot at one of the hundreds of slot machines available and sat next to an elderly woman.  By our questions, it didn't take long for her to figure out we were "first-timers."  I was surprised when she voluntarily shared with us what to do and what she knew.  At first I thought it was to shut us up, but she took a liking to us and didn't seem to be bothered that much.  We asked her how things were going and she told us she hadn't had much luck. But after sitting down next to her things began to change for her.  Her total winnings kept skyrocketing up, while ours kept steadily going down.

She left with over $400.00 and told us that we had brought her some incredible luck.  I thought to myself:  Isn't it amazing how luck works; how it never works on the ones who bring it?

This is what St. Thomas felt.  He felt like he was the unluckiest person in the world.  But he wasn't.  In fact, he was quite fortunate.  He was a Jew.  He was an Apostle.  He was living in the best time ever - the same time of Jesus Christ.  Out of all the people who could (and should) complain, he wasn't one of them.

Blessed are those.  Jesus set the record straight when he said, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." 

Did you get that? It's true.  Believe it or not:  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.  Thomas never imagined that the Lord's appearance to the others (and not to him) had been something other than a punch in the face, or a type of rejection letter, or some sort of time out on the part of the Lord.  He never imagined this episode in his life had been a blessing, and maybe a blessing in disguise.  I think it was his eyes that had blinded him.

What did the Lord think of Thomas, and of all his doubting, and of all his questions and insecurities?  We all know the answer.  He loved him. 

Thank God for Thomas!  He is so human, just like all of us.

Just today I read a beautiful article regarding a woman who lost her 25-year-old son unexpectedly from an epileptic seizure.  The article states:

Nicolo, distraught over her son Eric, called the Vatican in the days following his death.

"I was very, very upset and I said, 'I don’t believe in God anymore.'  Why would he take my son?"

Nicolo said she was "sobbing uncontrollably" when she left her name and telephone number with a Vatican representative, never thinking her phone call would ever be returned.

On Friday, weeks after Nicolo made the call, she awoke at 6:40 a.m. to find a missed call and voice message on the cellphone sitting in her living room.

"I missed it by 10 minutes," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I had to play it several times." 

"I’ve always loved my faith, but when your child is taken, you can't help but question it," said Nicolo, who described herself as a devout Catholic. "It renewed my faith and belief in God."

What happened to Nicolo is in no way different to what happened to Thomas.  Love of God does not eliminate loss, not even sudden loss, or the feeling of being punished. 

But I believe that missing the Lord by ten minutes is somewhat comparable to missing the Pope by ten minutes; and beholding Him for all eternity is loosely comparable to hearing his voice over and over again on an answering machine. 

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