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!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lk 12:13-21 Be Rich in What Matters to God

Luke 12:13-21 Vanity of vanities

(Click here for reading)

“As you are I once was. As I am you will become.” - an inscription from a Roman tombstone

Before we can even arrive to Christ’s declaration that we must become “rich in what matters to God,” we have to arrive to Qoheleth’s conclusion that “everything under the sun is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

I should thank God everyday for the call I received some sixteen years ago to consecrate my life to his Son through the priesthood. Being a priest I have had the grace and blessing to visit many elderly in nursing homes and I have seen what it means to live a life of vanities. One individual, in particular, I will never be able to forget. An old woman who had spent her entire life dedicated to her career. She died alone, and for the most part, completely ignored and forgotten. I think I was headed in the same direction when I began working at Kodak as an engineer. I would show up to work on Saturday and Sunday just to get ahead of everyone else. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder and I wanted to do it quickly. One day my Jewish boss came in and saw me there. He looked at me in amazement and asked me why I was working on Sunday! I told him what I just told you. He told me, “Al, get a life! The day you die I guarantee you; we will have a replacement for you.” Material possessions will never compare to spiritual possessions: to love and to be loved, to know the Lord and to possess Him; to give all and receive MORE. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!” (Ps 90).

A recent article in Time Magazine boasted of the benefits of “single-child” families. They claimed that these children were not spoiled, selfish or lacking in any important matters. In fact, they were more than fine – they were doing great and increasing in America. But if we look at the failed experiment of single-child families in China, we can understand the tremendous loneliness and despair that so many of them experience. How? Imagine your life for a moment with your parents dead and gone, no aunts or uncles to look up to, no brothers or sisters to count on, no cousins to call on. This is a reality in China and it is being promoted across the world today.

May the Lord guard us from ever thinking that our heart could be satisfied with material possessions, positions or priorities contrary to the Gospel. There is very little that we need in order to survive, but there is much that we can do in order to succeed. The first and foremost is to hear the word of God, listen to it and incorporate it into our life. Jesus asks only two things from us. He summarizes our life expectancy and quality of life in two commandments: Love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the glory of God: a man fully alive” (St. Ireneaus of Lyons). Love your neighbor means love your wife, love your husband, love your father, love your mother, love your brothers, love your sisters, love your neighbor and - it gets worse – LOVE YOUR ENEMIES! Yes, the Lord demands a lot from us! But how we love on earth will determine how we are loved in Heaven!

“I came that they might have life, and might have it to the full.” (Jn 10:10)


  1. Father, your boss challenged you with a certain reality. However, I think today that many of us work with the mindset that our work is so important they can't replace what I do...hence my hard work...I am so important to this enterprise. It, too, is vain thinking.

    The simplicity of today's readings, all 4 of them, makes it easy for us to "hear" what God desires for us. It is our yours in becoming a priest...that is crucial. Will we be slaves to our work, or will we work, in all things, to do the Will of Our Lord?

  2. I really like your meditations when you add a story to make it real! thanks Father Alfonse..happy Saint Alfonse's day!

  3. Al, get a life!

    Thank God you heeded your boss's advice!

    You not only got a life, but an eternal one and you're taking lots of 'passengers' with you!

    The cool thing is you can still work like a dog,(and you do)only it's for the eternal Kingdom! Sounds like a win win win to me!

    Here's one soul who's glad you took good advice:)


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