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, November 13, 2014

Lk 17:20-25 Hard To Believe, Esay To See

Thursday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, "The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, "Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.'  For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you."

Fingerprint.  In Lee Strobel's outstanding book, "The Case for Christ," he tells the story of the first time fingerprints were used to successful convict a suspect of murder. 

Clarence Hiller went to bed with his wife after having painstakingly painted the outside of his house.  Little did he realize that his paint job would help bring his murderer to justice.

On the evening of September 17th, 1910, Clarence Hiller and his wife went to bed.  The day had been spent painting their two story home and both of them were looking forward to a good night sleep.  But their sleep was shattered when they heard some loud noises coming from the first floor.  Clarence got out of bed and went downstairs to investigate.  From the bedroom, his wife heard a scuffle, the loud bang of two gun shots and the front door slamming shut.  She emerged to find her husband dead on the floor.

About a mile away from the Hiller home, police arrested Thomas Jennings, a known burglar.  He had a gun and some blood spatter over his clothes.  Thomas told police he had had an accident.  The police didn't buy it but they needed more evidence.  Back at the scene of the crime, detectives went outside and examined the window the murderer used to get inside - "and there, next to that window, forever imprinted in the white pain that the murder victim himself had so carefully applied to a railing only hours before his death, they found four clear fingerprints from someone's left hand." 

The fingerprints matched their suspect's hand.  The case was solved and justice was swift.  Thomas Jennings was executed. 

The Kingdom is standing right in front of you.  Some things take time to figure out, while some things are standing right in front of you.  Where is God's kingdom?  Wherever God's presence is, and it may very well be standing right in front of you. 

We're so weird.  We love to wait in line for hours - not to mention spend hundreds of dollars - for the latest and the greatest thing even though we know perfectly well it will become obsolete in less than a year. 

Why are we working so hard to be amazed?  Why are we spending countless hours and dollars hunting for the latest and greatest, when the latest and greatest and most amazing things may be free and standing directly in front of us? 

This morning I celebrated a funeral for an elderly woman who left behind a husband, two daughters, four brothers, and one grandchild.  I never got the chance to know her personally, but based on what family and friends said, I knew she was a very holy woman.  Why?  Because they told me she loved her family; she loved to smile; and she loved to put others first.  That's all I needed to hear.

She loved her Family.  Do I take my family for granted?  Do I greet my spouse and my children every morning with a "Good morning!"?  Do I tell them, before they leave for work or school, that I love them?  Do I give my spouse and children a hug and a kiss every morning, every evening, every day?  If not, then why not?  After all, they are standing right in front of you!

Do you not realize that family is not only sacred territory and the nucleus of society, but also the kingdom of God? 

She loved to smile.  I know this sounds corny...but how often do you smile?  Do you not realize that smiling is something that only human beings can do?  Do you not realize that this is a special gift from God? 

A smile is a greeting.  It acknowledges the dignity of another human being.  The way you treat your brother is the way you treat me.  

Every time I smile at someone, I smile at God's greatest creation, an image and likeness of Him.  I can't believe I am writing this.  Me, out of all people!  I'm not used to sounding (or even writing) like this, but it is true. 

If I am not smiling, then I am definitely not appreciating those around me.  And I hate to say this, but I know some people who neither greet me or even smile at me but work with me!

Do you not realize that God's kingdom is filled with people who smile?  Only once in Scripture does it appear as though Christ got angry.  Only once do we read that He cried.  But never do we read that the Lord smiled.  Why is that?  It must be because the Lord smiled all the time. 

The saints know how to smile because they don't take anyone or anything for granted.  They marvel at everything that stands before them.  To the saints the world is Wonderland; friends are Extra Terrestrials (E.T.); family is love made flesh. 

All of this is standing right in front of you...on a daily basis!  Have you closed your eyes to heaven?

Loved to put people first.  This is the secret to life, a long life, a healthy, happy and holy life.  Holy people are not glamorous people.  They don't have paparazzi following them all over the place.  Why? Because it's never about them!  They don't want the spotlight on them.  It will only end up being a big disappointment.  

Instead, holy people are gracious people.  They love to put the spotlight on others.  Serving others brings joy to their hearts.  Those who love to put others first tend to come from big families.  They know how to share a bedroom, bathroom and closet.  They learned the very, very hard way.  Family is where we are forced (to learn) how to put others first. 

Is there any wonder why we have so many selfish people today?

Do you not realize that in God's kingdom the saints were, once upon a time, servants and the condemned were, once upon a time - stars? 

Christ is unique.  He was a star that served.
The Pharisees never picked up on it.  They never saw it.  They knew Scripture through-and-through and knew the Law like no other, but they couldn't put it together into one person.  They couldn't imagine the Kingdom of God standing right in front of them.

The kingdom of heaven is always a bit hidden, not because the Lord makes it hard for us to find or see, but because we make it so dang hard to believe.

Some things are just plain hard to believe but easy to see.

The simple things in life bring us to the richness of life.

Family + Faith + Friends = Way + Truth + Life = Kingdom of God


  1. We should smile often!

    "God is the happiest of beings who made us to share in his happiness" - St. Augustine

  2. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with a little positivity. People who carry on in a dour fashion will certainly put off people. Still, I think we seek out smiles at the cost of being serious about certain things. Salesmen smile when they're trying to sell you useless things; spoiled kids smile when they get their way with a indulgent parent; and many depressed people smile to hide their true selves--there was a certain comedian who did this for a living before committing suicide not so long ago. I don't mean to be a black cloud, but the joy must be real, based in truth, not false joys. All theology and all philosophy come together on this point: happiness takes work and wisdom.

    We shouldn't be fooled by a smile, but go deeper and see if a person's joy is real. The gospels make it easy to tell: the joy is real if it come from God; it is false if it comes from something else beside Him. As the quote from Augustine says, "God is the happiest of beings who made us to share in his happiness."


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