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, March 30, 2015

Mk 14:1-15:47 Preparing For Our Passion

Palm Sunday
(Click here for readings)


Today is Palm Sunday, the day our Lord entered the city of Jerusalem with pomp and circumstance.  Today's passages relive that glorious moment...and so much more.  We don't just stop there.  We go all the way to His Passion.  Why?  Why on earth relive His betrayal, torture and death?  Why don't we just relive the good times and leave to history the bad times? 

Would you like people to relive the worst day of your life??? Then why do this to Him?

We need to prepare ourselves.  "Remember what I told you:  'A servant is not greater than his master.'  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."

We need to relive what the Lord relived because we will relive it ourselves.  We will all go through our passion, and not just at the end of our lives but even now.  

Every year we go through little Gethsemanes.  Every month we have struggles.  Every week we have doubts and fears.  

How do I handle these moments?  

Do I put the Lord on trial?  Do I quit and throw in the towel?  Am I constantly changing course; that is, turning my back and taking the path very well traveled?  Or do I carry my cross grudgingly, cursing and swearing and losing every drop of grace (as well as blood) along the way?  Or do I remain steadfast, courageous and humble - faithful till the very end?

Let's review some important moments in the passion of our Lord.

+ A woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil and poured it on his head.  This incredible gesture of love from this unknown and unnamed woman was so precious in the eyes of the Lord that He said: "Amen I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."  Yes, a single act of charity goes a very long way in God's memory, longer than we could ever imagine.  Charity runs long and deep.  A simple act of love produces more positive results than what eye can see and ear can hear and mind can even imagine.  Don't let an opportunity to show kindness pass you by. 

+ Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be.  And they all spoke similarly. Poor Peter.  His heart and mind are in the right place.  The problem is his will.  It's weak.  It always seeks what is most comfortable and painless.  It prefers rest to pain and peace to conflict.  What he hasn't understood is what the Lord will soon tell him, "Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." 

Am I overly confident in myself?  Do I trust my feelings more than my faith?  Is my conscious constantly overruling the teachings of the Church?  

Peter thought he could do it alone.  He thought he was strong, stronger than a human being.  Do I think this too?  If so, then watch and pray, and learn from your past. 

+ They all left him and fled.  I fear loneliness.  I fear it.  I do not want to die alone.  Am I preparing myself for this possibility?  Do I know my Act of Contrition?  As a priest, I know what it means to be alone.  Every time I visit someone in the hospital or nursing home, I am stunned at how lonely they are.  Dying is a very lonely affair.  Someone could be actively dying in their bedroom while others are laughing in the hall way or behind the curtain.  It's not a sin.  It is what it is.  Dying is something we do alone.

+ They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.  Jesus witnessed his closest friends running away from Him.  He even saw one young man run off naked!  He must have thought to himself:  They left everything behind to follow me.  Now, they're leaving everything behind to get away from me! 

How do I handle those who are in trouble or are dying.  Do I run away from them?  Do I avoid them?  Am I afraid of them?  Or do I reach out to them and give them my love - not the love they deserve, but my unconditional love?

+ At that the high priest tore his garments... The entire Sanhedrin kept trying to get Jesus to confess and finally he did.  When he told them the truth - "I am; and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven" - the high priest tore his garments. 

When we were kids we were told to tell the truth, otherwise we would get in trouble.  As adults, we now know the truth:  if you tell the truth you may get into big trouble!  This is what happened to Christ.

Am I ready to tell the truth?  Am I ready to accept the truth?  This is the divine life, for the Lord said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."

+ Holy, Holy, Holy Lord! Crucify Him!  From hero to villain in less than twenty-four hours.  How things (reactions) change so quickly.  We are so fickle, especially when it comes to others.  Am I quick to judge?  Do I enjoy placing others on a pedestal, only to see them fall?  There's nothing wrong with Jesus.  The problem is with me!  The Lord valued humility and discretion.  Have I always valued infatuation?  Is this my way of getting "second hand" attention and love?

+ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.  Here is the biblical form of the secular scream for help so familiar to us:  Why me, God?  Why me?  Why are you doing this to me?  What have I ever done to deserve this?  Doubt is perfectly normal, as well as fear, but these two things were never meant to push us away from God.  On the contrary, they were meant to bring us to reflection and contemplation, humility and conversion.  Christ had no need of conversion.  What He did, He did for us and out of love for us.  These words that came forth from the mouth of God come from Psalm 22.  Christ began the recitation.  He expects us to finish it. 

And with this, he breathed His last.

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.