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!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mk 5:21-43 Change of Plans

Mk 5:21-43 Change of Plans

(Click here for readings)

Are you suffering? Is there a war that is waging inside of you? The writer of Hebrews reminds us of how the Lord suffered and endured the cross, despising its shame, and taking his seat at the right of the throne of God. Now, “consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” (Heb 12:4)

Strong words! You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. I had forgotten this small but astonishing truth. I struggle. God knows I struggle. I wish to be holy and yet I continue to fall into the same old, mundane and routine sins! How little I have changed! What good is it to continue to try? But the sacred writer wishes to remind me of something I tend to forget: You haven’t resisted to the point of shedding blood. This is the comfort I give to teenagers and adults who continue to struggle with the same sins over and over and over again. I tell them, “Relax. The good news is that you have yet to do everything to end this sin once and for all!” It seems to work because it is true.

Jairus was a man who was willing to give up everything for his daughter. He was a respected official; the entire town had come out to see Jesus; they also saw their leader, falling at the Lord’s feet. I can only guess how many of his close associates and friends must have told him not to come out, to get someone else to do it for him, or to greet the prophet like his equal. They definitely did not encourage him to fall at his feet!

From the Gospel passage, we can only imagine to what extent a man would keep his reputation at its highest level. But today we know what he would do to keep his daughter alive!

There was a woman who had suffered for twelve years with an incurable illness and a little girl of twelve who was in bed near the point of death. In both cases we see some striking similarities: the indiscriminate ravages of sin, the fear in their eyes, the suffering they must have endured, the need for immediate attention, and the number twelve.

The Lord must choose. To whom shall I go? To whom shall I send to the twelve tribes of Israel? Jesus must choose his Apostles, twelve of them, to preach and to heal in his name: Alleluia! Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases. Now, I must do the same thing!

What must I do? Go the extra mile like the Lord. He was walking. He was about to preach. But Jairus got there first. He came up to him. Change of plans. The woman who was suffering touched him. What did the Lord do? He stopped and talked to her. Change of plans! He let her go and gave her health of body, peace of mind and unquestionable love. He sacrificed himself everyday so that, eventually, He could sacrifice himself at the supreme level of love - No greater Love. Change of plans!

What am I supposed to do? Change your plans! Because, “whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” This is one important way to carry our cross. This is how we spill our blood.


  1. Hi Father!

    Your meditations have been really good! Really, going over the readings and breaking them down.

    “consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” (Heb 12:4)

    When I read this last night, that really touched my heart. My thought was "is living my life, the way I have been called to live my life, going to be impossible"? Thank You for explaining it and restoring hope that I can do it, because when I am walking with God all things are possible.

    Along with frequent Mass, Adoration, daily Rosary, I have been reading books! :) I have read two books so far the past two weeks. "unPlanned" and "The Promise". I am actually going to start "Led by Faith". The one you suggest I read two years ago. :) I also have a few more to read on Pope Benedict. I am really excited! Let me know if you have any other suggestions on books!

    God Bless you Father Alfonse!

    You are in our prayers!

    Rose :)

  2. “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.”

    These words really spoke to me this morning. I am one of those adults that have whined and complained in confession about how hard I have tried to resist a particular sin that I commit over and over. But you are right; I haven’t done everything to end this sin once and for all.

    The story of the hemorrhaging woman is one of my favorite miracle stories. Hers is an example of great faith, believing that, “if I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
    Jesus didn’t need to speak to her or lay his hands on her, she just had to reach out and touch his cloak.

    I wish to be healed instantaneously just like this woman and wonder at times if it would happen if only my faith was stronger. But I have come to realize (and been reminded by people of strong faith, priests and prayer partners) that most healing takes time. Just as the woman in this story, I must persevere.

    In the first reading we are reminded to keep “our eyes fixed on Christ.” It is the only way to “not grow weary and lose heart.” So I will continue to pray for healing.
    I have seen many fruits from this already, I am not so afraid to let others know the real me, and I am learning to receive love and believe that I am worthy of love.
    Even if my healing is a life-long process instead of an instantaneous moment of grace, I will persevere. I will embrace the many moments of grace when healing takes place and focus on the gifts I have received because of my suffering.

    I read your meditation after my own reflection on the readings and even though this is getting long I have to add something regarding your comment on “change your plans.”

    Last Friday after a long 10 hour day at work, I was so ready to go home but decided to change my plans and go visit a patient and her family. I spent time with her parents while she was sleeping and listened while they reminisced about their daughter.
    After a little while she woke up. At first she was hurting but we were able to get her settled and comfortable. She was more coherent than she had been the last few times I had come by so we got to talk and laugh for a while.
    On Sunday morning she died peacefully with her parents at her side. I am so glad I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to "change my plans" on Friday.

    Heavenly Father,
    Help me to recognize and respond to your promptings to reach out to those in need. Open my eyes to the many opportunities I encounter each and every day to bring Christ to others. And may I always be willing to change my plans in order to love and serve those in need. Amen.

  3. Thank you so much for these words today. You fill me with strength to go the extra mile.

  4. Another wonderful meditation!
    And the comment by "Anonymous at 10:36 AM" was very rich and helped drive home the whole message for me.
    This entire blog is such a blessing!

  5. These are beautiful words Father. Stay warm and have a blessed day.

  6. You too. I think that might be the reason why we have so many comments today!!! :-)

    To all the anonymous commentators and friends: Thank you so much for all your words and reflections. They mean a lot to me.

  7. Beautiful Father! As always, God has used you to bring me exactly the message I need to hear. Thank you

  8. I want to know how I can make a change in the lives of others. I pray, and pray, and pray but I want to do more, I really want to make a change!
    I get really sad because I see all the bad things happening around me. All my friends at school making bad decisions. What can I do for God???? How can I be his disciple?? I don't see much I can do because I am a teen. I will love, love as much as I can, but is there anything else??
    P.s. Father I love your blog, and your homilies. Whenever I am having a bad day, I come here and it lifts me up. Thanks for touching everyones' hearts with your love. I want to be like you. You are my role model, and I will pray for you <3

  9. What a beautiful post! To this incredible teen, I can only say continue to be a light to others. Continue to radiate a warmth that brings people closer to you so that you can bring them closer to Christ. Never give up and never give in. That's been the motto of a lot of soldiers who were patient in battle and determined to win!!! Keep fighting and fighting the good fight. Allow Jesus to do the rest. He will, we can't.

  10. To the teen who posted the comment; having the desire to impact the lives around you is the first and most important step. Don't be discouraged by the bad things happening around you, even for adults it is easy to do.

    Mother Teresa has so many beautiful words to inspire us, (I would recommending googling them) but one of my favorite's is, "not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love." Don't sell yourself short because you are a teen.

    Just looking someone in the eye and smiling can change someone's worst day into something good. Saying hello to someone you don't know, being a good listener, lending a hand are simple things that can make a huge difference.

    And as Fr. Alfonse said, never give up and never give in. Your example will impact more lives than you will ever know. Continue to be Christ in your corner of the world!


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