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, September 23, 2010

Luke 9:7-9 Herod Looked Perplexed

Luke 9: 7-9 Herod was perplexed!

(Click here for reading)

I remember, back in my seminary days, enjoying two weeks of vacation in Sorrento. It would take us nearly an hour to arrive to our destination as we literally passed by thousands of olive trees bathing in the Mediterranean sun that would eventually produce some of the greatest olive oil the world has seen and tasted. After a long walk starting in the rolling hills of Sorrento, we began our final descent towards the beach. As we invaded our little portion of the Sorrentine beach (there were roughly 200 of us going down the hill at pretty much the same time) we would almost immediately cause a negative reaction among the people who were enjoying that stretch of land. Most of them would simply pick up their belongings and leave. Others would attempt to sunbathe, but with so many people, and so much noise, they too would eventually leave. I recall one encounter with a rough looking man who was fishing. He looked perplexed. I can understand why. All of us were dressed inappropriately for the beach. We all wore white polo shirts and long slacks. How’s it possible? Slacks on the beach? He asked me, “Who are you?” I replied, “Seminarians...Catholic seminarians!” He thought for a moment but still remained perplexed. He wanted to say something, but was a little hesitant. Finally, he said it: So, you will never get married.” I answered back, “Correct.” But he still looked perplexed – even more so. Looking around at all the men, he could hardly believe his eyes. SO he asked, kind of sheepishly, “Why? You are so young!” I asked him, “Are you married?” “Yes I am.” I continued, “Well, didn’t you say no to all the women in the world except for your wife?” He answered, “Yes.” I continued, “Well, I said no to all the women too, including your wife.” He looked at me, smiled, and said, “You did well.” He no longer looked perplexed. In fact, he looked kind of envious.

Herod looked perplexed, surprised, maybe even confused. But deep down, he was envious. His life was a teeter totter of constant pleasures and constant frustration; constant bloating of his ego to fill a constant emptiness in his soul; his days were saturated with on-going - 24 hour - entertainment to fend off his nightmarish loneliness. His life was a mess! He envied the mystery of the Son of Man. Christ was a mystery and he was a well read, worn out textbook. Those around him knew what buttons to push, what words to say and what things to do. King Herod was a robot, a lifeless creature that was little by little, inch by inch, being moved and swayed by his enemies, his family and his darkest thoughts. Herod was your typical party animal! Vanity of vanities (Eccl 1:2-11). He kept trying to see him. But how? There were too many masks on his face.

Hollywood has done an incredible job convincing so many people that to be a saint means to live a boring life. Whereas, if you want some thrill, some excitement, some adventures, then you have to break the rules. After all, that’s what they are there for. Hollywood has done a fantastic job in creating a big lie.

Herod’s life was filled with things: money, sex, alcohol, power and people. Today, it would be pornography, hook-ups, alcohol and drugs, cars and facebook! And yet, all the people were not talking about him. They were all talking about Christ. 7,000,000 people didn’t show up to see a rock star back in 2000. They came to see an old man dressed in white whose name was John Paul II. The Tetrarchs of today ask, Why? What about me? Look at me? Who is this man? What does he want? What can he give to you? The answer given will always refer to Another. I come to bring you Christ! I come to bring you true Love! I come to bring you Hope! I come to bring you Home!

Pope Benedict on his journey to England was asked by a reporter how the Church can appear more attractive. His answer was stunning and shocking. “A Church which seeks above all to be attractive is already on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for herself, she does not work to increase her numbers and her power. The Church is at the service of Another. She serves not herself, not to become strong; rather, she serves to make the announcement of Jesus Christ: the great truths, the great powers of love and reconciliation which appeared in Him and which always come from the presence of Jesus Christ.”

The reporter looked perplexed.


  1. Father, another great one! Keep them coming! :)

  2. Father - I loved your response to the man on the beach - what a beautifully powerful, insightful and simple response....and so true.

  3. “He kept trying to see him. But how? There were too many masks on his face.”

    What an interesting reflection. Herod couldn’t see Christ because of all his masks.

    I have never thought about how the masks we wear, effect our vision. Yes it keeps others from seeing us, but they also skew our perception, hinder our view, and block our peripheral vision. It makes perfect sense when you think about it.

    Jesus has always been right there waiting for me to see Him, to come to Him, but my vision was hindered by my own insecurity, vanity, pride and mistrust. I couldn’t see Him standing right in front of me because I had blocked my view of Him with all the barriers that I had put in font of myself for protection from the world. How ironic, they kept me from the ONE who could protect me. Jesus! What a fool I’ve been!

    Now the masks are off. I am emotionally & spiritually naked inviting Jesus to clothe me with His peace, joy and love.

    Yes, there is a risk, but one I’m willing to take. What else is there? More lies, more pretenses, more time wasted that could be spent in His arms?

  4. “ He no longer looked perplexed. In fact, he looked kind of envious.”

    I love this insight! In my second half of life I can only envy what I have not lived yet in this life!!! Since I am married with kids, I look to what I have missed as a single, consecrated person… it’s only natural!! “What did I miss?” I am wanting more experiences of life (so as to understand myself and God more) and the only thing I’m lacking is the vision of what I have not yet lived! It’s why men and women have mid-life crisis’ – they experience a “lack” of life! And it is real to them only because they have not lived an conscious life of “what the other is living”. If I put myself in someone else’s place, and try to live ‘that’ life, I can empathize with them and live ‘that’ life. But if I do not consciously put myself in their place, try to “live” there, I will not be able to experience ‘that’ life.

    God is utterly magnificent! He tells us that if we live for the ‘other’, we ourselves will be fulfilled. I believe this is what He’s talking about: “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me.” We become totally fulfilled by loving our neighbor. We think we are doing them a favor, but God knows we are truly fulfilling ourselves in that same breathe.


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