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, June 11, 2015

Mt 5:13-16 What To Do As A Christian

Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


Jesus said to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth.  But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?  It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."

These verses from Scripture are so familiar to us:  "You are the salt of the earth.  You are the light of the world.  Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds."

But what exactly do they mean in today's secularized culture?  What can Christians do that will make a difference in the world?

Forgiveness. There's not a lot of forgiveness in the world today.  Maybe it has always been that way.  I don't know.  But forgiveness doesn't come naturally, that's for sure.  It requires a lot of faith, hope and love - putting into practice what Jesus preached.  And while we may witness a lack of forgiveness among non-Christians, don't be surprised to find a lack of it among Christians as well.  Why?  Because we live in a very unforgiving society.  We see it in the way we gossip about others. We see it in the way those who fall from "grace" are treated on social media, especially on YouTube videos, Facebook pages and tweets. 

A few weeks ago our middle school soccer team played their first game of the season against another Catholic school's team.  It wasn't an easy win.  Our opponent's goalie was pretty good.  But he made an embarrassing mistake that cost him a goal.  He let a very slow moving ball go between his legs.  He put - what seemed to be for 5 minutes - his head in his hands.  I thought he may have been crying.  I felt so bad for this kid.  But what really made me feel bad was a boy standing next to me, who shouted out in disbelief, not because he didn't see the goal but because he couldn't believe he didn't capture the moment on his cell phone!     

He was ready to embarrass this kid for life by posting the mistake on YouTube!

Oh my goodness!  We can no longer be human without being eternally ridiculed or insulted!  And this isn't the Olympics!  It's just the DPL (Dallas Parochial League).

The Lord has given all Christians a great opportunity to be salt and light by sharing the Good News of forgiveness! 

Love those who do not agree with you.  Is it possible to love people who do not agree with you?  I think it is, even if it is difficult.  But isn't this something we can do for our neighbors? Isn't this something the Lord demands from us?  Isn't this something we need to be sharing with others?  I absolutely think it is.

I know how nasty some "tolerant folks" can be.  I know how mean some "accepting people" can get.  But we can never be this way.  This is where we can make a huge dent in our society and a huge difference - as big as night and day - for Christ and neighbor.

I have experimented with this concept for the past ten years, and I am proud to say it has never failed me.  In other words, it has always worked.  Loving those who do not agree with you pays off.  You win their respect, their admiration, their appreciation and their time.  You win their heart and ears and eyes.  They warm up to you; they listen to you and they are glad to see you.

Try it.  See for yourself.  Once upon a time Christians were world famous for their ability to win over their enemies.  Can we not do it again?  How do you think they did it???

If you wish to be salt of the earth and light for the world, then love those who disagree with you.

1 comment:

  1. Forgiveness is a funny thing. If we really look at any given situation, we will realize that the person that ‘harmed’ us actually did us a favor.

    My enemy is not my neighbor who I need to forgive. My enemy is not even what my neighbor did to me. My enemy is what is inside me. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

    I am not miserable because of what’s been done to me. I am miserable because of my response to what’s been done to me.

    Do I see how I use my anger, my pride, my fears, my desires, my insecurities to respond to “what’s been done to me”? To the degree that I do not recognize that it is my fear, my selfish motive, my pride, etc is the same degree that I hold onto my unforgiving attitude. To the degree that I won’t look honestly inside myself (shining the light on my vices), is the degree that ‘darkness’ is in me.

    If I view Jesus’ life this way, I can understand why He was so upset with the Pharisees! They did not admit they had vices. They were “keeping all the laws” as if to check off all the 10 commandment boxes. “I am a good Catholic. I believe in all the Church’s teachings, and if you don’t believe you are not a ‘good’ Catholic.” It was the sinners that had admitted and openly talked about their vices and sins to Jesus.

    As Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within.” As much as the Kingdom of Heaven is my Savior it is just as much something that I must struggle to find. They are both the same Heaven. And that means looking within and seeing myself for who I really am; the good, the bad, the ugly. I have to take off my various masks I put on for various people.

    If I can give God my vulnerabilities by admitting them to myself honestly and owning them, I will find this Kingdom of Heaven. It is a narrow gate because it’s so hard!! And if I continue to beg God for Graces as I ‘work’ on recognizing when I am wearing a mask, I will find more and more of the Kingdom of Heaven. I will find Jesus! “…. for we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”

    It takes a lifetime to work on this. But I didn’t even realize that this was an option: to work on myself. Most of us are too busy with another life: school, career, fighting for my political party, fighting for my religion , entertainment, talking bad about others because they don’t believe the way I do ….. It is a hard balance. But once God gave me the Grace to see that it was an option, the balancing act has become easier. I continue to fail miserably every single day, but God knows I’m trying.

    Several years ago, I heard one woman tell another woman, “You need to stop holding on so tight to your wish bone and grow a backbone.” It was this small experience that I realized that I was suppose to hear that line. God, through my neighbor, was giving me an insight into myself that I was not able to see, to admit. I am learning how God works in mysterious ways.


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