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, April 14, 2015

Jn 3:7-18 Being Born Again

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


Jesus said to Nicodemus:  "You must be born from above."  ...Nicodemus answered and said to him, "How can this happen?"  Jesus answered and said to him, "You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?  Amen, amen, I say to you, ...If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?"

What is born of flesh is flesh.  Jesus is trying to have a spiritual conversation with Nicodemus, who, supposedly, is an expert in spiritual things.  But their conversation isn't going so well.  Why?  Because Nicodemus, a Pharisee, is thinking like Pilate - like a rational man.

Am I living my life on just one playing field?  Or am I living my life on multiple playing fields?  In other words, am I living my life on reason alone or am I living my life on faith and reason?

Nicodemus cannot seem to break free from the chains of an earthly mentality.  This comes as a surprise to Jesus.  After all, Nicodemus touts himself as a spiritual man.  And yet, Nicodemus fails to comprehend things beyond flesh and bones.  In fact, when Jesus tells him that he must be born again, Nicodemus replies by saying "How can a man once grown old be born again?"  


What is born of spirit is spirit.  What makes life worth living?  Love.  What makes life exciting?  Surprises.  What makes life feel robotic?  Human nature.  What makes life feel boring?  Saying and doing only what people expect you to say or do. 

In today's first reading, we hear about the lifestyle of one Christian community, where they were "of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common" (Acts 4:32-33).

No one would ever do something like this if they were just living on just one field - the "reasonable field."  This is only possible if they are full of faith and reason.  

What we are witnessing here are members of a community transforming their heart, mind, body and soul into Jesus Christ.

What we are witnessing here are members of a community being born again...with the Holy Spirit.

These early Christians are seeing life in a completely different way - vertically and horizontally - like a cross - not just horizontally.  Their priorities have changed.  They value people for who they are, not for what they have.  That's why they are so willing to share with the less fortunate and the marginalized. 

People are no longer treated as a means to an end but as the end, the goal, and they are treated with respect and dignity, not because of any title but because they were created in the image and likeness of God.

I remember an elderly woman who was bedridden for years.  Some of her children wanted to see their mother pass away quickly, and complained that the nursing home was taking too good care of her.  They would often say with tears in their eyes: "This isn't our mother.  Our mother used to be strong, independent...a workaholic.  She loved to do crafts and cook and go hiking with her grandchildren.  This isn't our mother."

Yes she is.  This is your mother, just in a different stage of her life.  I believe they were sincere in their love, but failed to grasp the meaning of the moment.  Two worlds were converging.   

Does our dignity come from our usefulness?  Do we value people because of what they can do for their country, for others, for us and for themselves? Or do we value them for who they are - an image and likeness of God.  And yes, even the bloodied and weak and no longer strong but dying crucified God.   

Well, one child, the most spiritual and religious of them all, refused to submit to the demands of the others.  The woman had her mother brought to her home where she feed her, cleaned her, showered her and caressed her with love and affection, taking on most of all the horizontal and vertical costs that went along with it!

So many young people today dread the day they become old, worn-out and incapacitated.  Why?  Because they see only horizontally and do not want to become a burden to others.  Some of them see this moment in their life as a waste of air, time and money.  They have no clue what this moment in their life can do for others. 

This is the mentality of our times.  
What is born of flesh is flesh. 

But when a child is born in the spirit, then they see trials and tribulations as a Cross - the converging of two lives and/or something to carry.  Hence, they see common struggles, like old age, not as a curse but as a blessing, not a waste of time but an opportunity to serve those who served them so well; to give back what they have received (horizontal) and maybe even what they never received (vertical).


1 comment:

  1. What a GREAT meditation!!!! Thank you Father Alfonse!


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