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, March 7, 2011

Mk 12:1-12 Respecting Christ

Mk 12:1-12 Respecting Christ

(Click here for readings)

I really do not look for a fight. It does me more harm than good. Yesterday was one of those rough and tough days. I have to admit that it started off pretty well. I had just finished the 10:30 Mass and I was greeting a lot of parishioners. They seemed very happy with my homily and the Eucharistic celebration. It is always uplifting for a priest to get some positive feedback.

One individual came up to me and greeted me. He was with a woman. We had a great conversation but this woman standing next to him did not greet me or say anything. In fact, she looked awfully perturbed. I asked her why she wasn’t smiling. I was shocked at what she said. “Well, I just don’t agree with what the Catholic Church believes.” I asked her what she believed. To my amazement, she said, “I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told her, “Guess what honey, we believe that too.” As I have mentioned in far too many homilies. I am not a good apologist and I never will be. My heart begins to race as if I am being physically attacked. My stomach begins to turn as if I had the worst possible meal. I continued, “Did you hear anything we said today? Like, ‘We believe in one God…We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ…’ Did you not hear my homily on how Jesus alone saves?” She spoke up. “Catholics do not believe in that.” Again, I had to control myself and I think I did a pretty good job up to this point. I reminded her that the Lord made it very clear that we should never judge, nor condemn. I replied, “I do not know what all Protestants think. I do not know what all Catholics think. I would never assume to know. But I can tell you what is written in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Have you ever read the Catechism?” She looked at me and said, “Yes.”

She lied!

I repeated myself again, “You read all one thousand pages of the Catechism?” She nodded her head in agreement. Again, she lied.

Let me tell all my readers something. If I had asked my entire congregation and that of St. Ann’s if they had read the entire Catechism, I do not think that a single individual would have raised their hands. I haven’t read the Catechism through and through!!! Parts, yes, of course but unless you’re a professor or a student, I would find it hard to believe. How could someone have read the entire Catechism of the Church and then falsely accuse us of not accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior???

She knew I had caught her in her lie and so abruptly ended the conversation by telling me that she only reads the Bible. I told her, “Oh, the Bible, that’s the first book we wrote!”

Today’s Gospel is a reminder to all Catholics and Christians of good will (our separated brothers and sisters) not to judge the Bride of Christ or the teaching authority of the Church of Christ. For, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.”

Let us respect the Son of God by respecting his Bride.


  1. Father Alfonse,

    Thank-you for sharing this story. As a Catholic Convert, I am shocked at how ill-informed so many of our Protestant brothers and sisters can be regarding Catholicism. I've been asked questions such as: "Don't you worship statues of Mary and the Saints? Are Catholics considered Christians?" What??! Unbelievable!

    I'm sorry you had to be exposed to this woman and her lies. All we can do is pray for her. Pray she will become more educated on the Catholic Faith and not be so hardened by her deceptive perceptions.

    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, Father! Have a wonderful week.

    -Jennifer :)

  2. Father, I appreciate everything you have to say. I think this lady was probably shaken by the depth of faith and love she witnessed in your celebration. It sounds like she was lashing out in desperation to save a belief based on a lie.

    I think too often, children are told irrational things in attempt to support/reinforce beliefs the parents want them to have, but when those beliefs are confronted with the truth- they crumble.

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Don't let up for anything or anyone. We need the truth more than ever, no matter how painful it is.

    Thank you

  3. OMG Padresito, all that you have to put up with! It exhausts me...I can't even begin to know how you must feel...

    Father, don't ever get discouraged with the stupidity of people. My humble advise: Don't even go there with them. Just laugh it off. Give them a big smile, hug them. Give them a compliment, maybe say something about the beautiful weather, or maybe compliment them on their choice of spouse. Sounds like the man with her was a nice man. I bet you made her day by getting a little rattled. Gees, I hope you hid it from her. I hate to give these kinds of people the satisfaction that they might rattle me!

    Father, you've got us...the ones who appreciate you just the way you are, you've got your family of origin, I've heard you speak of your mom, and of course most importantly, you've got God on your side, and those who are so close to God will get challenged...all the time, just as Jesus was.

    I just think arguing with these people is just feeding their negativity and them an opportunity to suck that energy away from you. Negative people are like vultures out on the look out for good people's energy to steal. Did you feel yucky and weak after Ms. Arrogant left?

    I didn't come say hi to you after this same Mass. You were busy, as usual, all your fans! plus I didn't feel good. I had my head on my husbands shoulder almost the entire mass.I should have stopped, still, to say Hello. Don't change, Padrecito.

    ps - When's your birthday, please?

  4. Padrecito, oops, I just realized I rambled off in my initial comment, and I got off subject. Duh, the negative woman didn't attack you personally, she attacked the Catholic faith, and you as a representative of our church, defended it, as you should. oopsie on my part. I guess all I heard initially was how you felt by this and I was just thinking of all the other times that people DO personally attack you and how that must make you feel. I still stand with what I said before, generally speaking. I know you don't need my advise here...but I guess I can't help myself- that mama bear instinct in me won't let me say nothing. : )

  5. I couldn't help but smile a little when reading your blog today. Not sure what I would comment on it though... ;)

    When I was reading the Gospel today I was again awed by the immense love of God. It's incredible that he created us. He didn't need to, but he did. Then we rejected him, turned against him. And he not only forgave us, but offered himself as our means of salvation: "He had one other to send, a beloved son." God sends his 'beloved' to his offer his people love...Amazing.

    Have a better day today Fr. Alfonse! :)
    God Bless!

    - Jessica

  6. I haven't read your blog in a while but I was bored and thought I'd pull it up today.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see what you had to say today.

    It is interesting to 'hear' about your confrontation after mass yesterday.

    It's also nice to know that you don't always say the perfect thing in the perfect way and instantly gain a soul for the kingdom.

    Not that I'm glad, but that it helps the rest of us when we 'seemingly' fail to hit the mark ourselves.

    “Oh, the Bible, that’s the first book we wrote!”

    And your use of sarcasm was great. That little slap had to feel good!

    Humility can be so hard to recall when we're caught off guard, especially when we see we're not gaining any ground with the facts.

  7. Father, we appreciate you. Thank you for speaking the Truth. I think you are as good as any apologist because you speak the Truth in love. I was right behind the woman you speak of and I thought I heard her say she used to be Catholic. She must have really been hurt by someone. We need to pray for her that she will see the Light and find God's healing grace. I know I will.

  8. I'm glad to see that reading my blog is a good cure to boredom rather than a cause of it.

  9. LOL! was bored again:)

    Actually your blog is often thought provoking and it is nice to catch you being human.


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