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!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mk 9:38-48 Cut it Out!

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna... 

What in the world is the Lord talking about?  What's his problem?  Why are body parts flying all over the place?

One of the greatest sins.  Sin is deadly.  It kills wherever it goes.  We have to be cautious and attentive to its presence.  We need to go to Confession at least once a year in order to avoid it infecting our thoughts and words and spreading to our hands and feet. 

And what is the sin we hold so dear to our heart?  Let me share it with you in its most ugly -yet truest- expression:  I'm better than you.  I deserve more than you.

Of course most of us will never verbalize it quite like this, but make no mistakes: deep down we believe it. 

John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."  Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him!" 

Cut it out!  Stop thinking your better than others!  Or that your more important than others!  Or that you are more powerful than others! 

In today's first reading, we read how two men were prophesizing without Moses' permission.  Moses tells the complaining parties, "Are you jealous for my sake?  Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets!  Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!"

If you think your better than others, than cut it out!  Get rid of this sin before it devours you!!!  For it will.

St. James tells us (James 5:1-6) "Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impeding miseries.  Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like fire."

No wonder the Lord uses such visual examples.  Better to go to Heaven maimed than to Hell with all your body parts!

Pope Francis.  Why do so many people love Pope Francis?  Why are even some atheists happy to listen to him?  Why are there enormous crowds wherever he goes? 

What's his secret?

I'm so sick and tired of people saying to me, "The Pope's so humble!  Look!  He's going around in a Fiat 500!  He just wants to be like one of us." 


"Oh...look how cute he is.  He just loves to be around the homeless and to kiss sick children and visit prisoners.  He's just imitating what Jesus did.  He's so compassionate and loving!  He wants to make the unfortunate people feel very special!"

Not really.  The Pope isn't humble because he goes around in a Fiat 500.  He's humble because he is honest. 

I'm no different from you.  That's it!  That's what makes the Pope a genuine believer in Jesus Christ.  He truly, honestly, and openly admits that he is no better than any of us.

Why does the Pope constantly ask people - ordinary people - to pray for him?  Because he truly believes that their prayers are just as good as his.

Why does the Pope ride around in a Fiat 500?  Because he truly believes he's no better than we are.

Why does the Pope visit prisons and homeless shelters and eat with poor people and kiss disabled children?  Because he truly believes he's no more important than they are. 

Why does the Pope visit with a county clerk and a gay couple?  For exactly the same reasons Jesus met with critics and skeptics and Romans and Jews.   

That's it.  It's that simple...and that complicated.  And the only reason why the Pope confuses a lot of people is because they want him for their own selfish purposes or on their side!

World Meeting of Families.  The Pope came to the United States to celebrate the final Mass for the World Meeting of Families.

We all know just how important the family is to our Church and to our society, for family is the nucleus of society. 

Based on my own personal experiences - and on the experiences I have learned from other families - I can honestly say that children and their parents can help, support and encourage each other in the simplest of ways. 

To you, children.   Thank your parents.  Tell them "thank you" and "I love you."  Do this often.  These are not bad words.  These are beautiful and important words.  It's amazing just how much life and energy you give to your parents by saying these words.  Affirm them.  Show affection towards them. 

Don't forget their human too. 

To you, parents.  Right now there is a beautiful song out there that expresses what you need to do for your children.  It's right here.  Listen to it.  It's so important for them to know they have your unconditional - non-negotiable - support for them.  This is a must for their well-being and emotional and psychological development.  I repeat:  it's so important for them to know you have their back, especially if they are not as perfect or flawless as you think they may be or as strong as you would like them to be. 

The Pope, as Vicar of Christ and Papa, understands this at the human race level.

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