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!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mt 23:1-12 Setting Things Straight

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)


Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.  Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example...They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation, 'Rabbi.'  As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'  You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.  Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.  Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Christ.  The greatest among you must be your servant."

Titles.  Is this meant to be taken literally?  No.  Not at all.  We can call our dad, our father; and a Jewish teacher, a rabbi; and a child "Master William."  What we need to remember, and never forget, is that God is our Father, our Teacher and yes, even our Master.  Why?  Because He is the greatest!  He serves like no other!!!

Why did the Lord use these three titles?  Why not doctor?  "Call no one on earth your doctor..."  Our leader?  "Call no one on earth your doctor..."  Or even king?  "Call no one on earth your king, for you have but one King in heaven."  I think it's not so much the titles as it is the responsibilities. 

Those in high office must keep a low and humble profile. 

Jesus is not upset with specific words, like father or rabbi or master.  If he were, then the list would have been a lot longer!  Instead, He is upset with those who hold a position of authority and abuse it!  Who do they think they are?  

The Lord made clear that no one, absolutely no one, should consider themselves above the Law or above God.  Fathers may be the head of their household, but they have no right to be abusive to their children.  On the contrary, they must lead by the example given to us by God the Father.  Rabbis are God's teachers - "do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you" - and yet they must live as if they are the pupil!  Masters may be the leaders of our society, but they better get used to defending and serving others. 

Where much is given, much is expected.  The idea of having a high and mighty title is not to lord it over others, it is to serve others and help them to feel comfortable about it.

Not too long ago, I was speaking to a man who was calling me "Sir."  I told him, "Please, just call me father.  That's what everybody else does, including non-Christians!"  Well...he took offense to it.  Who do you think you are?  Mr. All-Mighty?   

I was shocked and surprised.  I told him, "Not at all.  "Sir" sounds way too formal, important and distant.  "Father" sounds like we are family.  And if "father" bothers you, then call me "brother."

Not too long ago, I read an article drawing a correlation between weight lifting (muscle building) and feeling superior towards others.  The same holds true of those who hold titles.  We can easily get caught up on our titles rather than on our responsibilities.  The Lord reminds us of our responsibilities:  If you are a father, than be a father.  If you are a teacher, than listen as much as you speak.  If you are a President or elected official or military officer, then serve your men and women.

Lent is all about removing pride, vanity and sensuality and replacing them with faith, hope and love.

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