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, February 19, 2015

Lk 9:22-25 Fake Suffering For Our Sake

Thursday after Ash Wednesday
(Click here for readings)


Jesus said to his disciples:  "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised."

The Boldness of Deuteronomy.  Right before the Chosen People of God stepped foot on Holy Ground (aka The Promised Land), the leader of God's people, Moses, turned to them and said: 

Today, I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.  If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statues and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.

If however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish...

What Moses told his people was brilliant.  The "Promised Land," - the land that God had given them - could easily become another Egypt - a land of broken dreams and broken hearts - if they were not careful.  They needed to keep God's commandments alive and relevant in their day-to-day comings and goings.  In other words, they needed to maintain responsible freedom.  And what exactly is responsible freedom?  Believe and respect the Word of God.

If this did not happen, then the dream would be shattered and the Promised Land would end up being just another living nightmare.  What's so special about the Promised Land?  Nothing.  What makes it so beautiful and worthwhile?  One nation, under God, indivisible.  Does this sound familiar?

I invite all my readers of this blog to make a photocopy of Moses' speech.  It's even worth laminating!  Every morning I plan on reading these words and reminding myself of the great task that lies before me, and of the grave responsibility there is of sharing the faith with others. 

Lent.  It took the Jews forty years to get to their final destination.  Forty years of quail and manna.  Forty years of freezing nights and scorching days.  Forty years of walking, hiking and maybe even crawling to get to their final destination. 

We only have forty days to break the shackles of our sins and reach the land of peace and harmony.   Are we up to the task?

Suffering for God's Sake.  Why do we give up things for Lent?  Why do we put ourselves through so such misery every year?  What's wrong with us!? 

The answer rests in the goal for Lent.  What is our goal this Lent?  To become as strong as Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is not only the most loving person who ever lived, and the most forgiving person who ever lived, and the most generous person who ever lived.  Jesus Christ is the bravest and toughest person who ever lived.  What He went through...I cannot even imagine.  And maybe I'm too scared to imagine. 

How did He do it?  Just like our soldiers do it.  He went through basic the desert...for forty days and forty nights.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

How did St. Paul do it?  How could he write what he wrote:  "Who will separate me from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"  His answer was quick and to the point:  "Nothing!"

The Christians of old did not need to "give up something during Lent."  They didn't have anything before, during and after Lent!  We, on the other hand, must create scenarios and situations in order to toughen us up.  Otherwise, we become the marshmallows we love! 

Giving up things and going beyond our comfort zone and creating scenarios that are challenging or difficult during Lent isn't "faking"; It's training.  It's a reminder that Heaven will never be found on earth.  On the contrary, life on earth is a battle, a battle of choices:  death and doom or life and prosperity.  It is a reminder that my home can easily become my castle or my prison.  It is a reminder that my life can easily be lived for the Holy Trinity or for the secular trinity (me, myself and I). 

Life on earth is where we define who we are, which is absolutely essential if we wish to make it to our home, the Promised Land.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.