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!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mk 1:1-8 Preparing for The Way - Forgiveness

Second Sunday of Advent
(Click here for readings)

John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

Advent is a tough time of year.  It comes right before Christ, the worst moment of the year to get anything done!  But if we want to have the best Christmas ever, then we need to get this season right. 

How can I prepare a way for the Lord to come into my life?

The remarkable John the Baptist.  What was so remarkable about John?  Was it that he lived in a desert?  Not really.  Was it that he wore camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist?  Big deal.  People in New York City dress like that all the time!!!  Was it that he ate locusts and wild honey?  Hey, to each his own!  So, then, what is it? 

He proclaimed:  "One mightier than I is coming..."

That's big!  That's different!  That's unique!  For we all want to imagine ourselves as being the "Big Thing," even the "Real Deal!"  That is, God-Almighty! 

Deep down, we all want to be God!  And we speak and act as if we are!

Not too long ago, while at a stop sign, I noticed for the umpteenth time a can of Coke in my car that someone, a friend of mine, had left a couple of weeks ago.  So many times I had planned on throwing it in the trash can, only to forget time and time again.  Finally, I had my chance.  After noticing a large gutter on the side of the road, I rolled down my passenger's window, picked up the can of Coke and threw it out the window.  It should have been an easy toss.  It wasn't.  Instead of the can flying out the window and rolling into the gutter, it hit the frame of the car and came right back in, spilling its contents all over the passenger's chair!!!  I was horrified...and extremely angry!

But who do I think I am?  And what right do I have to be angry that my sin went horribly wrong?  Who do I think I am???

Too often, I think I am God.

If the Advent season is a bit like "Bah, Humbug," then it may very well be because I have learned to compensate for God's absence.  Who needs Him anyways?  Therefore, instead of paving the way for the Lord to come into my life, I have decided to take on the role of God for myself!  And this only leads us to bigger sins, greater anger and resentment, and deeper despair and eternal death.  

*The first lesson of Advent is this:  "One mightier than I is coming," like it or not! 

Do not ignore this!  In today's second reading, St. Peter warns us:  "Do not ignore this one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day." 

This saying is not just something spiritual and mystical.  It is very, very practical! 

A sin transcends time, especially our most gravest and serious sins.  It may have taken place at a specific moment on a specific day, but we know, for we have all experienced it, how it can play out over and over again every day of our life!  Its impact is felt emotionally, spiritually, even physically for days, weeks, months and years.  A day can be like a thousand years! 

We may try to stop it, but we cannot escape it.  It will keep haunting me every single day until something is done. 

*Advent is that time of year to stop this cycle of violence!  Come, Lord Jesus!

There is only one person who can stop it.  There is only one way to stop it.   I need to ask for forgiveness.

This past Saturday, I went to a parish to hear First Reconciliations.  I can't tell you what the kids told me, but I can tell you what I told them.  I told all of them the same thing:  "You make mistakes.  I make mistakes.  Even your mom and dad make mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone asks for forgiveness.  You just did!  And that makes all the difference in the world!" 

Break the cycle of violence, caused by sin, by confessing your sins and making straight the path for the Lord to come into your life!

These moments are precious.  They are spectacular.  They are the moments that our Lord captured our heart and filled our soul.  God among us!  Nay, GOD INSIDE OF US! 

Who among us can forget that beautiful picture of a cop hugging an African-American teenager?  They get it.  They both get it.  They broke the lines of rules and regulations - created by men to rule other men and generate suspicions - and allowed the Holy Spirit to govern them.  They didn't just stand there and take a picture or look surprised.  They allowed the Holy Spirit to dwell in them to unite them.

"Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss" (Ps. 85:10).  Heaven and earth shall unite!  On earth as it is in heaven...

*So what is Advent?  An opportunity.  An opportunity to see God in my neighbor and to allow others to see Him in my words and actions.  

Advent is that time of year to allow the Lord back into our world and our life.

1 comment:

  1. Advent is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to make room for the gift of holiness and peace that the Christ child brings. Do we have room? For those of us that are parents, we have all experienced the change that the first baby brings. We have had to get ready: make a nursery, outfit the room, car, and wardrobe. Weve had to ditch some of our old habits. Our previous life is out the window and then a new way of life begins and it is never the same. Truly. I can't remember LBK (life before kids).

    Making room for the Christ Child is no different. We have to get ready--first by cleaning our spiritual house. Reconciliation can be a hard thing for many including me. It's hard to admit that we've screwed up (yet again!) and despite the best of intentions. But it is so comforting to know that Jesus is waiting for us. He is yearning to meet us in the sacrament. He is ready to pour forth his mercy and his grace if we but ask with a penitent heart. He is the best friend that always understands and always completely forgives us.

    Once we cleaned house, then we will have an empty room in our hearts that can truly welcome the love, peace, and understanding that our Savior brings.


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