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!

Friday, April 15, 2011

John 10:31-42 Picking Up Stones

John 10:31-42 Picking Up Stones

(Click here for readings)

I believe in the veracity of the Gospels because I can honestly relate to the hatred that is expressed in them! I can see how people are so quick to judge, to condemn and to kill with their words and actions. I know how we are capable of ignoring the 99% of good in someone and fixating ourselves on the 1%. We can say and do the right things 99% of the time, but we will always be remembered for that one time we did not. The objectivity of failure is clear for all to see, but the affect, the ramifications of failure depends significantly upon the health and well-being of the recipient, and that subjective reality is not so clear for all to see.

“The Jews picked up stones.” Why? To throw them at Jesus. Why? To kill him! Why? Because of the good works that he performed and the words that he spoke. But most of all, because of who He is.

Yes. The Lord performed miracles – MIRACLES! No one else had ever performed miracles. Not a single Pharisee, or scribe, or priest or elder. Not even St. John the Baptist (“John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true”). Only Jesus was able to change the deadly course of nature, of history, of life.

The Jews wanted to stone Jesus because He spoke like no other. He spoke in a way that held the attention of all who had ears and wished – begged - to understand. Jesus spoke in a way that had authority. The Lord spoke a sublime and illuminating word that the Pharisees and scribes could never do! Jesus spoke without notes. We know that every word traveled from the Father in Heaven and through the Lord’s heart and soul.

But in the end, his enemies picked up stones to kill him because he made himself God and they could not prove him wrong! “You, a man, are making yourself God.” Their minds could not accept this fact because the hardness of their hearts. St. Augustine tells us how to get to faith: “Believe and then seek to understand.” Has the Lord not shown us, over and over again, that we must first believe and then we will see? Well, the Pharisees could not prove him wrong because He was right. You cannot prove that someone does not exist when they exist. Does God exist? Yes, and He is Jesus! And Jesus is living proof of the Father and the Holy Spirit.

There is so much good in Jesus. In fact, it’s all good. But the Jews have their minds fixated on the 1% that is questionable. And it is questionable only because they are in sin. Yes, they are the ones that have covered their eyes to His miracles. They have repeatedly ignored His words and disgusted themselves with his love! They are the ones that have made themselves better than their gods by twisting the truth and setting traps. But the Lord continues to walk in peace, eluding them by walking in their midst’s and escaping from their power.

Picking up stones and throwing them at others is something we learned to do as children, most likely by watching our friends or parents doing it to others. The Lord never picked up a stone. If he had, he would have turned it into bread. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to drop the grudges, anger and bitterness we hold onto and to convert our stony hearts to hearts made of flesh.


  1. Someone who is very important to me but should I forgive him for insulted catholic religion, calling name on me, hurt me. God always forgiving no matter how wrong we are, but this time he over react. He said wny catholic have many rule to follow, why confess to stranger (the priests)? He said he rather want to be christain than catholic. I cant condemn or judge him, I can only ask God for forgiveness and to open his heart n mind. I always been forgive him after his mistake from other mistake. Should I keep be patience with him and help him? Its like telling him on one ear but go but go out other ear, he never seem to be mature. sometime I cant be humble with him anymore. I need an advice, God bless all.

  2. Very powerful Meditation Father. Thank you! i really liked the part about picking up stones in the end.

  3. Sammy: I think you should definitely continue to encourage him and help him in his faith journey. He is asking the right questions and hopefully you can give him the right answers. If not, please let me know and maybe I can or someone else can help. God bless you! :-)

  4. Thank you for you thoughts Father Alfonse!

    Your words today reflected what I was praying about in my personal meditation on the gospel.

    "The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus." They didn't believe. They wanted to destroy the Him, to eliminate what they perceived to be the source of the 'problems'. I see in my own life that time, and time again, I pick up the stones of disbelief...I shout to God to prove himself. Through my actions and doubt I accuse him of something he is not; of being false.

    And then Jesus answers them (me), "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to show me?" We can look at our life and see all the moments God's loving providence, his presence, which was the light by which we walked in the dark. And even if we cannot see, or if the pain in our lives makes it difficult to remember that his love was indeed present, there is one thing that should end all doubt. The final thing that puts an end to the discussion (or perhaps starts an entirely new, and incredible, one): The love which is proven by given one's very life. It is the crucifixion of God to save his children (me).

    "Believe and then seek to understand" Easier said than done, St. Augustine! But it seems that this is the only condition of God's love, that we have faith! That in all humility we must beg for the grace to believe in His love, even when it doesn't make sense to our minds. I think this will be my motto for the rest of Lent.

    Praying for you Padre! Hope you have a good day!

  5. To Sammy and your friend-

    As a convert, I have found Catholicism to be an adventure on a foreign planet, where the strangest things have become the most liberating, transforming, awesome and precious.

    Confession has been the biggest surprise. I usually do go into shock when confessing to someone new, but in most cases, what I have found is a new friend, not a stranger. . . . .


  6. Again, to Sammy-

    Recalling my own conversion, the major influence was not in arguments or explanations, but in the friendship and hospitality of a family that was very credible and very Catholic.

    Dave was very traditional. Claire was very liberal and focused on social justice issues. I was impressed that there was room for both in the Catholic Church.

  7. I too am hung up on the 1%!! Not about the greatness of Jesus but about what I “should” be doing! What is the Will of God for me to help someone / myself to be closer to Holiness? Do I listen to my conscious or do I listen to what my religious friends would say or neither? God is constantly asking me, “Do you love me?” What am I to respond except “YES, of course!! Please tell me what to do and I will do it! I know you will give me the grace for whatever is Your Will so please, show me the way!”

    This very dilemma is what God wants for me. If God wants me to grow in Him, then He wants me to be like Him, then I must grow in discernment …. between His Will and mine…. maybe my conscious is not fully formed?

    Jesus knew what His Will was – to die, to be crucified. I honestly will try my very best to die to myself if I am aware of the obvious. It’s what’s not obvious that paralyzes me to do nothing! Ironically, it’s my tears of indecision that are bringing me closer to Jesus!

    I heard a priest say one time that there is not a plan B for my life. That brought me more consolation than I ever thought possible! “ALL THINGS (not just the holy experiences in life) work together for good to those who love God, for those who live according to His Word.”

    It seems I’ve lost my best friend here on earth. I know that Jesus is my ultimate best friend that I will always have who will never abandon me!! He loves me more than I can even imagine. He will always talk to me, listen to me, share a conversation with me that I will get to know Him more and more. That is the one thing I know for sure that will sustain me as I continue to struggle to find His Will for me.


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