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, January 12, 2015

Mk 1:7-11 Safe Passage

The Baptism of the Lord
(Click here for readings)

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.  On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.  And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

God's preferred place.  When the Son of God was born, the world found him in a stable and lying in a manger.  It goes to show that God loves simple and humble places.  But this was not the Lord's doing.  It was Mary's.  She and Joseph placed Him there. 

So where exactly does the Lord love to be found?  Well, you would think it would be at a wedding ceremony, like the wedding at Cana, since God is love and that is where love may be easily found... and in abundance.  But that was where Christ performed his first miracle, not where he made his first public appearance.

So where did the Lord first appear, and appear on his own volition?  In line.  In a line full of sinners.

The Lord willed to be with sinners.  Why?  Because He wants to show the world that He loves us, and that He has not forgotten us or, even worse, abandoned us.  The Lord does not identify with us.  On the contrary, He is without sin.  Rather, He wants to accompany us on the road to recovery; that is, repentance.

Sky's the limit?    And guess what happened next?  The heavens opened up.  The sky is no longer the limit.  Heaven is the limit.  In fact, it is the end of the road. 

Friday morning I read one of the most thoughtful headlines I have ever read in the Dallas Morning News.  Referring to the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, that left over 16 dead and many wounded, the headline read:  "Bloody end, or beginning?" 

Great question!

We know our sky, our atmosphere - the dome - is part of God's creation.  We know it was meant to protect us and even provide for us.  We know it is our safety net, our catch all, our shield.  But reading Friday morning's Dallas Morning News newspaper, I wonder if the dome has not become our prison cell! 

Life without exit.  Life without a light at the end of the tunnel, where death is our only escape.

Terrorism!  Fear!  Horror!  Killings in the name of God and without mercy or regrets!  Is there no end in sight?  Is there no escaping from this hell?  Is it possible our dome is not our home but our doom? 

No.  Because the sky is not the limit.  God has provided us with a channel - a gateway - to His peace, His grace, His presence!  There is a way out.  We don't have to die!  Well, not physically, that is.  Rather, we must REPENT.  We must die to ourselves, our sinful and selfish selves and be REBORN.

This is our escape! 

Baptism is our safe passage from "hell on earth" to "heaven and a new earth."  Baptism is our rite of passage from childish ways to child-like ways; from the immaturity of self-righteousness to the maturity of love and compassion. 

Is life just vanity of vanities or is there anything beyond our universe?

Is there an end in sight to the spiraling out of control of rationalized violence and fundamentalist terror that rests below us?  There is.  Lord, increase my faith! 

Is there any escaping from this body of flesh and bones that becomes weak, tired and deformed under the weight and pressure of time?  There is.  Lord, send down your Holy Spirit! 

Is there no end in sight to the cycle of life and all routines?  There is.  Lord, give me hope!

Is there any chance of escaping the rationalizing and calculating of our actions and/or the manipulating and judging of others?  There is.  Lord, teach me how to love. 

Let's not forget:  the Lord made his first public appearance in the confession and baptismal line near the Jordan.  His last public statement was the following:  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Mt 28:19-20).

Baptized at the very beginning.  Baptize till the end. 

This is how the heavens will remain open and our earth will be our home, not our prison.

Go and makes disciples of all the nations!

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those feast days that I always glossed over. The words seem like something for the ordained priesthood only. How do they apply to a parent? Upon further reflection, I believe on the day of our Baptism we are conformed to Jesus who is Priest, Prophet and King. We, too, then are called to be a Priest, Prophet and King. Every baptized person reading this shares in these three offices.

    As priests, are called to be people of intercessory prayer. As parents, we should pray for our children, our spouses, our co-workers, our friends. Do we pray at restaurants before meals? Do we pray with our kids at night? Do we bless them before they head out the door for school? Are we actively exercising our priesthood by actively participating in the greatest prayer-- the holy mass! Do we even attend mass as family?

    As prophets we are called to have God on our lips regularly. We are called to speak about the centrality of God in our lives. Do our co-workers even know we are Catholics? Are we preaching Chirst by the way we live? By the way we love? By the way we forgive?

    As kings we are called to lead. Are we governing our families in the ways of holiness? Is our prime goal as Christian parents for our children to find what God wants them to do or are we more concerned about the sports they play, the friends they have or the grades they earn? Are we serving in leadership roles in our churches?

    Food for thought. What a wonderful reminder that Christ is walking with us on this Feast Day--calling us to be conformed to him as Priest, Prophet and King!


Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.