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, May 19, 2015

Jn 17:1-11a I Am Going To You

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


Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you...I pray for them.  I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours in mine, and I have been glorified in them.  And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you."

Yesterday I celebrated a funeral Mass for a young man who took his own life.  For many years he suffered from mental illness.  He also struggled with faith in God.  I knew this young man fairly well.  I know his family very well.  They are exceptional people! 

I can honestly say that throughout this young man's trials and tribulations, that brought the family to tears and to their knees, the family never left his side.  They prayed for him.  They hoped so much for Him.  They loved him unconditionally. 

His death was heartbreaking to family and friends.
I am coming to you.  I'm not sure - I haven't done a thorough job researching this - but I think the Lord never said to His disciples that He was going to Heaven.  Instead, He always insisted that He was going back to His Father.  This tells us that Heaven is not so much a place as it is a person.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.  Why?  Because it brings us to a more intimate relationship with God. 

In other words, wherever Jesus is, that's where Heaven is.

So where is Jesus?  Has he abandoned us?  Has He gotten rid of us?  Has He given up on us?  No, not at all.  If anything, the Lord has united Himself to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, the same spirit that unites the Son to the Father.

I want to be with Jesus.  Where Jesus is, there Heaven is. So...

+ If Jesus is on the top of some mountain, then that mountain is worth climbing.  If holiness is something the Lord demands from His followers, then holiness it is.  If it is unconditional Love, then unconditional Love it is.  If it is Mercy and Compassion, then Mercy and Compassion.  If it means standing up for Him and for our beliefs and dying for those beliefs, then consider it done, for it is worth doing whatever it takes to get to the top of that mountain.  I don't care how tiring it may be, or how painful it can get, or how difficult it can be.  I don't even care if I find myself falling down often.  Whatever struggles I have to overcome to get there, I will, for He is worth everything.

+If Jesus is walking on water, then, like St. Peter, I want to be there.  If stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something risky or challenging or daring is something the Lord is inviting me to do, then so be it.  For wherever the Lord is, there too I want to be.  If I am successful in life by doing what no one has done before, then I must give my Lord the credit for leading me to do the impossible.  I can't forget what He said:  For nothing is impossible with God.

+If the Lord surrounds himself with lepers and losers and criminals, then I want to be next to Him, for He himself said about himself: "For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick,. and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me."  The Lord not only cares about those nobody cares about, He even identifies Himself as one of them! 

Heaven is not just Jesus.  It is our neighbor as well.

+Last but not least, Heaven is also found on the wood of the Cross.  Jesus nailed to the cross is the last place in the world we would ever think to find Heaven.  But there He is, right before our eyes.  And right next to Him is His Father, His mother and His best friend.  When we stay close to those who suffer, we stay close to Christ.  When we show unconditional love to those who have difficulty accepting it, we are uniting ourselves to Christ on the Cross.  Father, forgive them...

As I was preparing my homily for yesterday's funeral mass, my thoughts fell upon the crucifix.  This young man's unexpected and tragic death reminded me of Christ's passion and death. It also reminded me of how our loved ones never leave our side.  NEVER. 

Unfortunately, this young man may have taken his life because he considered himself a "burden" to his family.  But the truth is:  he always struggled with forgiveness, grace and faith, which in this specific case meant believing and accepting unconditional love. 

He loved to play the guitar.  I don't know if he ever got around to playing that old song from the Hollies, "He ain't heavy, He's my brother." 

The Lord be with you.  And with your spirit.
Rest in peace, my dear friend.

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