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!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mt 23:1-12 Rock Star Status

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.  Therefore, do and observe al things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example."
They loved being popular.   After his very successful trip to South Korea, a reporter asked Pope Francis what he thought of his immense popularity.  The Pope responded by saying, "I keep in mind all my sins and mistakes.  This helps me to stay humble."

That's something to think about.

Let's not think too badly of those poor Pharisees and scribes.  Hey, who wouldn't want to be put in a position of honor or greeted by adoring fans, especially if undeserved?  What's wrong with having flowers thrown at your feet or knees bent to kiss your feet?  Nothing...unless it goes to your head and you actually begin to believe it and don't do anything to stop it. 

We all love to be thought of as being more than we are.  We all love to be loved more than we love and adored more than we adore.  Even the Lord was loved and thought of and adored like a rock star. So what's His beef?

Christ didn't mind that the Pharisees and scribes sat in seats of honor; they deserved it.  What disturbed Him was the fact that they rarely ever lifted a finger to help those who could use their help. 

The beauty of Christ's popularity is that it never went to His head.  If anything, it all went straight to his heart, eyes, feet and hands.  Christ saw the needs, met the needs and encouraged others to follow in His footsteps.  He dared himself and others to sacrifice themselves for others.  He first challenged himself and then others through His works of mercy and love.  The honors and titles bestowed upon the Lord did not only come from above but from below, from the simple and unassuming people of the world that fell head over heels in love with Him and showered him with tears, sweat and blood. 

The sin of the Pharisees and scribes was the following:  they preached but did not practice what they preached.  They tied up heavy burdens that were hard to carry (penances) and laid them on people's shoulders (crosses?).  They did not lift a finger to help.

They thought they were better than the rest of humanity.  Something we all think, especially when push comes to shove. 

Although the Lord spoke to vast crowds and to his disciples, His words spoke directly to each one, like "one having authority"; that is, like someone who knew each person personally and by heart.  That's a sermon that doesn't come from a text book but from contact!  That's a good pastor who lives with His sheep.  To this day, I find it amazing how I can read a passage from Scripture and relate to it.  No wonder why Scripture is considered inspired.

Famous people work hard to make it to the top.  Unfortunately, some of them forget to bring their humble beginnings with them. 
As we all work towards being rock stars, let's not forget who we are: sinners.  That's a great place to start and finish, since it keeps us mindful of who our savior is.

Without God I am worse than nothing (cf. Jn 15:5).  I am a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode.

1 comment:

  1. I am so very tired of crying and feeling sorry for myself because I am such a great sinner. I am wasting time and I know it!

    There are people who need to meditate on their sins so they can become more humble. There are other people who by meditating on their sins become paralyzed, because all they think about is how sinful they are. Then, there are those in between.

    If we don't try to know/understand ourselves more, we will not know the ways to get out of our "holes"..... like Alice in Wonderland........she fell! She had no control over her fall. When we 'fall' into our old ways, when we 'fall' in love, when we 'fall' on tough times that we literally have no control over, all we can do is be who we are with all our strengths and weaknesses at that time. I can learn from my mistakes / sins or I can sit on them - fretting that I should have handled that in a more holy way. The latter is my usual immobilizing way of dealing with sins.

    If I can grow from my mistakes / sins, become a better person, a better friend, a more loving person to everyone I meet, then I can only hope this is pleasing to the God of Love.

    As embarrassed and sorry as I am that I hurt people, good people, even caused them to sin, that is the cross I get to carry in life.

    It may take me a while to face up to this, but with God's grace I will grow to be who He is making me to be.... ONLY for His Glory, not mine.


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