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!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mt 4:12-25 He Withdrew

Mt 4:12-25 He Withdrew

(Click here for readings)

Sometimes it is necessary to take a few steps back. “When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. “

Sometimes it is necessary to take a few steps back in order to reflect, regroup and renew oneself. Who have I become? What kind of man do I want to be? Yes, the Lord loves me in my reality; he loves me unconditionally. And yet, he reaches down to me in order to lift me up. He came from Heaven to earth to lift me up from hell to earth, and from earth to heaven.

I am not exaggerating. Is it not true that we can sink to the never-ending bottomless pit?

Jesus took some time off. He prayed. He asked his Father, What must I say? The response came back. “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In other words, continue the ministry of the Baptist, and make it new and improved. These are the same words the Apostles used as soon as the Lord departed from their sight on Ascension Day. They followed the words of the Lord. They followed his life. But first, they took some time off. They reflected, regrouped and re-emerged.

I must make a commitment. I will not allow anything or anyone to stop me from preaching the Gospel and living up to the Lord’s expectations. I want to be a Saint this year. What must I say and do? There are certain truths that are true for all of us. First, declare the truth to yourself: I am a sinner. This is the first step that I must take. Second, my sin is killing me. By recognizing this, I am actually moving forward right now! Third, I need a Savior! I need the Lord. Allow the Lord to re-emerge, come back to life, in your life; to be the center and foundation of your life. Dedicate yourself to the Lord. Allow him to fill your empty hands with good things!

An engineer who worked in Kenya once told me that when a native receives a gift, regardless of how small or sparse it may be, they always receive it with both hands – one on top of the other – as if it were heavy, priceless, or overflowing. They understand the value of a gift. In the silly 70’s we were all taught that we receive the Eucharist with both hands in order to avoid that it falls. How practical the Church is! But in all truth, there is much more to it than practicality. Are we not receiving something priceless, amazing and overflowing?

Today, let us emerge from our shelter, from our hiding place and place all our obstacles, difficulties and sins on the table. Let us examine them carefully and feel disgust for them. Let us reflect and renew our commitment to the Lord. Let us all say, Never again!

May the Lord in his goodness give to us the grace of perseverance, courage and love to never waste a single day or hour, or talent, or gift on SIN. May we fight the good fight - retreating if we must – but only to regroup and renew ourselves once again for the battle that is in front of us.

May God bless us all this New Year with his unrelenting love.


  1. I couldn't agree with your words in this meditation any more Fr. Alfonse, on how important it is for us to not waste a single second of this precious life. Also, the idea of withdrawing to renew and rejuvenate seems very fresh to me. I do believe that these alone (not lonely) moments have the ability of creating quite a deep and impactful effect.
    Regards to you Fr. Alfonse!

  2. Dear Fr. Alfonse,

    Perfect timing for your meditation. These last few months have been really hard with a lot of uncertainty. I have spent a lot of time in prayer and Adoration but I haven't been disciplined like I use to be.

    My Spiritual Director encouraged me to write daily meditations on the Psalms and this practice was very good for my soul but after he moved away this practice has become very sporadic.

    I have felt myself pulling away from things of this world, which has been good, but I was in a kind of limbo instead of putting that energy into my relationship with our Lord.

    But last night after reading your meditation (for the first time in weeks) I decided to refocus, "emerge from my hiding place", to begin my day in prayer and meditation even though it means getting up at 5 am. I thought it would be hard getting up so early but the half hour flew by and I am looking forward to my time with the Lord tomorrow (and every) morning.

    Keeping you in my prayers.


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