MONASTIC PRACTICES – LECTIO DIVINA – There are six movements: LECTIO DIVINA (HOLY READING), MEDITATIO (REFLECTING ON THE TEXT), ORATIO (PRAYER), CONTEMPLATIO (CONTEMPLATION), EVANGELIZATIO (LIVED RESPONSE) and RUMINATIO (CARRYING THE WORD).
Meditation 11th Sunday Ordinary Time: “Lord, hear my voice when I call to you. You are my help; do not cast me off, do not desert me, my Savior God!”
1st Reading: Ezequiel 17:22-24: “I have lifted high the lowly one.”
Responsory: Psalm 92: 2-1, 13-14, 15-16: “Lord it is good to give thanks to you!”
2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10: “Whether we are at home or away, we aspire to please the Lord.”
Gospel: Mark 4: 6-34: “It is the smallest of all seeds, and becomes the largest of plants.”
Our first reading is such a beautiful allegory. Through Baptism, God takes our little soul and plants His Spirit within it. And if we nourish it with His food and Love, as it grows, we will be filled with such goodness and love that the light of our hearts will shine so brightly as to lighten the darkness all around us.
People seem to be irresistibly drawn to love and joy because they feel the love and compassion it exhibits. That is why so many followed Jesus anywhere and everywhere.
The opened their hearts to Him because they could tangibly feel His love going out to them. May God grant us the graces to nourish His love in our hearts.
Our Responsorial Psalm is a superb beginning to nourish our souls love and thanksgiving. I am always filled with joy when I see a small child reach out to comfort their sick mother, or hurt playmate; or to watch them fascinated by butterflies or caterpillars. It reminds me of those wonderful times when I to, was so enthralled by the incredible beauty of God’s creation, which still makes me want to sing and dance. May God’s grace continue to urge us to recognize and enjoy the beauties of His creation and the goodness of His Bounty.
Our 2nd reading calls us to an awareness of our responsibility to God and our neighbor. How is it that I receive such goodness from the Lord and yet take Him for granted and resist sharing His goodness with my neighbor out of fear I won’t have enough for myself; or insist, it’s their own fault they are poor; or why don’t they stay in their own country instead of coming here and taking from us, etc. etc.?
Whenever our thoughts and actions bring fear into our hearts, we know they are not from God, but from “Satan.” There is a wonderful book written by C.S. Lewis called the “Screwtape Letters” in which The Satan instructs a young demon on how to tempt people and encourage them to sin. It’s amazing how easy it is and how often we don’t even recognize we are sinning.
Unfortunately, we often refuse to recognize evil for what it is. How many souls believe Satan doesn’t exist? Our newspapers are filled with war violence, racism, murder, etc. Are all these people, ostriches with their heads in the sand? Remember Satan was once one of the highest of angels, he is a lot smarter than we are. He is also determined to ruin souls and pull them into hell. His pride-filled evil knows no bounds. But he is no match for Jesus Christ. Our God Will win in the end. We know that, and Jesus Depends on us to help our fellow neighbors and peoples to help defeat the wiles of Satan.
While it is true, our world is in a mess right now, pandemic, racism, climate change, war, etc., it is the small insights and good suggestions that the Holy Spirit uses to encourage us to help Him to continue the healing process.
Mark’s Gospel today shows us the way. It is the littlest of things that bring about great happenings. Compliments, Recognition of good work, Befriending the shy in coffee claches, Greetings and offering Help are just a few ways of Defeating racism and violence, by leveling the playing field. If each one of us gives positive examples of good relationships, just think how many people can be encouraged by our example. With God’s help we can plant the seeds of Good relationships and grow Mountains of Goodwill, Compassion, Acceptance, Encouragement, Love, Inclusion, Forgiveness, Joyfulness and PEACE. Kindness spreads like a small stone in a quiet pond, But Standing up with true and good Behavior spreads like Wildfire!
Years ago, young Pacific Islander once said to me, my blood is just as red as everyone else’s in this world!
May God bless you abundantly! Peace SM