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!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lk 10:25-37 He Stood Up to the Test

Monday of the Tewenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time


There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

What even is love, anyway?

From my perspective as a teenager, the word ‘love’ seems to have lost a good portion of its meaning. We throw it around like it is nothing. In fact, I think I used it to refer to food at least nine times tonight. Even when we do use it with conviction, we usually use it to refer to a pleasant feeling or sentiment. But is anything about this Gospel, the summation of how we should love others, pleasant?

“And who is my neighbor?” Jesus was never one to mince words. I chuckle a little when I think about this conversation. Basically, the lawyer was asking Jesus whom he should love. Think about how the modern teenager would probably respond. I would guess most of us would say, When you love somebody, you’ll just feel it.” I am almost positive that was in some kind of Nicholas Sparks book or something similar. But I’m not a cynic. Not all of us teenagers have a distorted view of love. But how is the Catholic view of love different from what pop culture tells us?

“A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by onthe opposite side.” What the world tells us about love is like what the Levite and priest choose to do: love is not based on actions, but based on feelings. It is not messy. It does not push you out of your comfort zone, and if it does, you can just skip right on over it. There will be another somebody to ‘love’ more easily and cleanly right down the road.

John Paul II was incredible. I just wish I would have been older when he was Pope and able to understand more of what he was like. Recently, I heard a couple of quotes from his book Love and Responsibility that stood out to me while reading this Gospel. Although I am taking them out of context, I think they can speak to any kind of love and not just that between a married coupleHere are two:

Love consists of a commitment which limits one's freedom - it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one's freedom on behalf of another.”

“Take away from love the fullness of self-surrender, the completeness of personal commitment, and what remains will be a total denial and negation of it.”
Wow! I must admit, those quotes do not exactly roll off the tongue like Nicholas Sparks. Personal commitment? Limiting one’s freedom? Denial and negation?  That doesn’t sound romantic, lofty, or beautiful at all. But then again, how consistent are those words with what Jesus told in this parable!

“He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him.” Oil and wine is not cheap! Wouldn’t a band-aid serve the same purpose?  And think about how far behind on the itinerary this traveler must be now! And now, he has to walk the rest of the way while a complete stranger is enjoying a ride on his animal. How much would we give of ourselves to a friend or loved one, much less to a complete stranger? I know for me, it is a struggle to stop doing my homework for ten minutes to help my mom around the house. That ten minutes is a whole percentage point that I could be losing on my essay, which could hurt my GPA by an entire ten-thousandth of a point!

If we cannot sacrifice small things for loved ones, how can we sacrifice everything for a stranger, as Jesus instructs us to do? We need to start learning how to sacrifice. There is no better place to start than in the day-to-day.

“The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’” Among the other lost art forms is generosity. I recently saw a quote on my Twitter feed that read something like, “You can’t choose when another person will stop loving you.” Wow! How dark and terrible. By the modern definition of love, love is a finite thing that can run out. It is earned. It is easily revoked. It is dependent on a variety of factors, any of which can fail at any time.

The Samaritan is generous. In essence, the Samaritan leaves the injured person with the innkeeper and writes him a blank check: “Do whatever you must do, at my expense, to make sure that this person is loved and taken care of.” For all the Samaritan knows, there could be a bill of a thousand pieces of silver waiting for him when he comes back! His entire existence could be demanded of him for this stranger!
How many of us are willing to make that kind of a commitment? How many of us can behold the person we love and say, “I am going to do whatever it takes, even if it may be at my great expense, to make sure that this person is loved and taken care of”?

You can bet that that Samaritan’s freedom was limited by his decision to take care of the injured man. He has to deny himself. He has to surrender his will. But what a complete picture of love it is!

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Side note: as I am sitting here writing this blog, my parents are laughing because they just now remembered their 25th wedding anniversary is in three weeks. Oops. You won’t find that in any Nicholas Sparks book—but that is what love looks like!


  1. If another person stops loving you, then they really never loved you in the first place. They were infatuated with you. They saw something that you had that they needed; but they didn’t love you. They just thought they did, and visa versa.

    I saw this in my parents’ marriage which taught me how to see my own marriage. At first you think you can’t live without this person! You think about them when you wake up and before you go to bed. Then you get to know them, how they handle the kids, how they handle their own problems, etc. Finally, there is no newness because you know everything there is to know about them – and they you! That ‘feeling’ goes away. This is ‘only’ when true love begins.

    My parents were as opposite as opposite could be!! My father, a very introverted, intelligent and pensive kind of guy; my mother always doing something for other families who didn’t have what we had. She didn’t think much, she just loved much! How I absolutely love each of them for who they individually were! The last 10 years of my dad’s life, he was close to bed-ridden. My mother cared for him in their home until he died. His greatest fear was going into a nursing home. So my mother, the socialite, stayed with him 24/7. She herself needed to get out, but if her kids weren’t there to help her, she just stayed with my dad, until the end.

    There are no feelings in true love. You just see the depths of this person’s heart and soul and know that you were called to love which is to sacrifice. It seems true love has to hurt, not in a bad way, but it does have to hurt.

  2. “There are no feelings in true love.” Pretty cynical, I know. I also know Jesus loved with feelings: Lazarus, Mary, Martha. My true colors are coming out that I haven’t seen for a while. I am looking for a cheap way to let go of my feelings. I’m not doing too good of a job.
    Love is not self-seeking. That is what I was trying to say. But I know many times this is exactly how I love someone….. I am seeking fulfillment by them, not by Christ.

  3. Love is a grace from God. I think we all have gotten a disconnected understanding of Love, because it "happens so naturally" that we forget where Love comes from, and therefore forget to pray to love our spouse, for example, better and more deeply when the daily quirks and struggles beat us down.


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