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, May 29, 2012

Mk 10:28-31 The Haves and the Have Nots

Mk 10:28-31  The Haves and the Have Nots
Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.”  Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, with persecutions, for my sake who will not receive a hundred times more now and eternal life in the age to come.”
We have given up everything to follow you.  I love Peter because he shoots from the hip.  He reminds me of myself; at least, when he is talking like that. 
This comment (which is really a disguised question) is long overdue.  I’m sure it wasn’t just on Peter’s mind.  I’m more than certain it was on the minds of the Apostles from the very beginning, or at least, when things started taking a turn for the worst.  Do you remember the conversation John had with the other Apostles regarding who was the greatest?  Do you recall when James and John asked the Lord to have the privilege to sit next to him when He entered His glory? 
Well, finally, someone spoke up.  Finally, Peter said the unthinkable.  Finally, someone admitted to being “human” and asking “What’s in it for us?”  Is this on your mind as well?  It shouldn’t be! For we already know the answer.
Well that isn’t Christian!  We shouldn’t be asking these types of questions or making these types of calculations!!!  We should be kind and loving and considerate to others simply because it is the right thing to do.  It’s just not right (or Christian) to be asking for something in return. 
What a bunch of nonsense!  What’s not right?  To ask and to receive?  To seek and to find?  To knock and be allowed to enter?  What’s not Christian? To go to Heaven?  To receive an amazing grace?  To follow the Lord who came down from Heaven and made it back up?
What’s wrong with that?  Really!  I’m not embarrassed to say that I want to go to Heaven.  I’m not even embarrassed to say that I forgive only because the Lord forgives me.  I’m not ashamed to say that I’m being kind to someone because I would like to make it to Heaven one day. 
Notice the response the Lord gives to all his Apostles.  He doesn’t tell them to go fly a kite!  He doesn’t even tell them to stop asking these types of questions.  He tells them the truth; that is, that doing what is right is also good, and what is good is always blessed, and what is blessed is to give and receive.
How far are you willing to go?  How much are you willing to let go of?  When I left for the seminary, I really thought that I had given it all away.  But I hadn’t.  I actually shoved quite a few items in my pockets.  I kept my front pockets full of doubts and fears.  I kept my back pockets full of excuses and calculations.  And it has taken a long time to remove most of these things.  It is amazing how they can create so much suffering!
While I was in Italy, I met a wonderful old lady that went to Church every morning.  She was holy except for the fact that she never really believed in God or in Heaven.  As if to encourage me, she would often come up to me and say, “God, if he exists, must really love you!” or “Heaven, if it exists, is just waiting for you!”  I didn’t know what to tell her.  What could I tell her? “Yes…I hope it all exists.” 
What has the Lord revealed to his little ones?  I think it is this:  You get what you deserve and a ton more.  Of course, no one can earn their way to Heaven, but we have to try as if we could.  “Be holy because I am holy, says the Lord and writes St. Peter (Pt 1:16). 
We have given up everything to follow you.  In response to Peter’s “question”, the Lord could have said to him, “And I have given up everything to be with you.” 
Although God created us with beautiful eyes, Christ’s prayer for all of us is that we start observing the world – His Creation - through His eyes.  The world is not made up of the haves and have nots.  The world is made up of those who give and do not.     


  1. I couldn’t believe your words as I starting reading down the page. At first I thought,”Wow, I am so confused.” I have been thinking exactly the way you started out. I have felt guilty even for having a stronger faith and loving God more than anything. I felt guilty because my faith and my love became real only after a life changing gift he gave me. It has seemed selfish to do things to get to heaven. It seemed self serving. I don’t know how many times I confessed that and the response,(other than that’s not a sin), I got was “that is the only time we are supposed to be selfish. We were made for heaven.”

    This morning my meditation went a little like this: “Lord, I am still struggling with giving, sacrificing and doing the right thing TO GET TO HEAVEN. I still feel guilty because I feel such an intense love for you, so often it makes my heart swell with love. Shouldn’t I do the right thing solely out of love that exists merely because You love me and I want to make You happy? It feels selfish because I am getting so much out of it.”

    So the way you started your blog, confused me because even though I feel this way, I know it’s wrong. I know those thoughts come from the evil one and I fight against them so often.

    Even though I have overcome so many negative thoughts, beliefs and behaviors, I know the devil will always be there tempting me whispering his words in my ear and I will have to do battle with him.

    I am glad your sarcasm changed into truth. The truth I’ve come to believe, the truth my confessor, spiritual director and counselor have been trying to get across.

    I WAS a little worried at first. But you have confirmed what they’ve been telling me. So I guess it’s time for me to push that thought away as soon as it comes and not give it time to grow roots.

    I am laughing because it’s as if your words were specifically for me. The Holy Spirit is so creative, in control and on the job 24/7. hehehehehe

    1. “Of course, no one can earn their way to Heaven, but we have to try as if we could.” Man, that’s a great line!! How many times (years) I have tried to reconcile these two concepts: (1) "earning" faith (2) trying to do good to enter heaven.

      I use to think (& try) to bribe God into giving me faith – you know, if I am good, don’t sin, and be nice to people, He would give me faith, I would believe in Him & go to heaven. I just couldn’t buy into this approach. Intuitively, it just didn’t sound like the God of Love. There had to be more mystery to it. There had to be more.

      Gradually, through many experiences of searching for Him, and with a lot of help from friends, I found I just wanted to be with Him, in prayer. Gradually, I wanted to be nice to others only b/c of Him; very gradually, I wanted to make my bed really well in the morning just for Him. Many things I wanted to do well, but my motivation was mostly b/c of Him. I fell in love with Him!! I could not understand obedience, allegiance to a God of Love. In retrospect, I realize that the only way He was going to get to me was by Love. Love conquers all - even the self-centered person I was... still am. Only after that was I able to do everything out of Love for Him. There was no obedience anymore; Love motivated me, not allegiance, only Love. Yes, my actions (in whatever situation) are the exact same thing as someone who is doing it out of obedience, but my motivation is totally different. To me, this makes all the difference in the world. I am not saying I am better than anyone else, it's just the perspective that God has given me which helps me to understand Him more, to understand myself better.

      Yes, I am still an acknowledged selfish, vain, prideful person, but I understand that all good things come only from Him. My selfishness & pride must decrease, but the good in me is ONLY from Him, not b/c of the good I do – He is the one to give me all my holy desires – I might do the holy things but nothing, nothing good comes from me, only my sins. He is the One to transform us humans into becoming other Christ’s. Everything, everything good comes from Him.

      The holy desires in my inmost being come only from Him. I did not create my own holy desires. I can choose to act on them or not. I can decide to carry my cross or not. I can give it back to Him so that He can give it to someone else on this earth to carry. …. because of the loss of heaven or the pains of hell, but MOST OF ALL b/c they offend you My God, who art all good and deserving of all my love…..

  2. Dear Father Alfonse,

    Today’s reflection really hit deep. I didn’t know quite how to respond. Normally words flow easily. “I love Peter because he shoots at the hip” made me think of another passage from the 1st Letter of Peter:

    1 Peter 3:13-17 "Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear……For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than doing evil."

    Am I willing to let go of my fears and doubts to follow Christ? Am I willing to enthusiastically proclaim the gospel message and the Church’s teachings? Am I willing to step aside of my own selfishness to be selfless to others? Absolutely! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be One with Our Lord! The problem is I think too much. I worry too much. I desire human consolation too much. I’m too darn scared that I’m not doing it completely right!

    I’m experiencing a deep discernment process right now. I’m trying to figure out where the Lord wants me and how he wants me to play a role in His Church. I’m excited to discover so many ways I can serve the Church and Our Lord, possibilities I would not have considered 14 years ago when I became Catholic. I’ve made it a goal to simplify my life and to scale down. Pray more. Meditate more. Love more. Serve more. Be more in line with what Christ desires in me as a sheep in his flock. Exciting to think about meeting Jesus in heaven and spending eternity with him!



  3. Anonymous,

    You made my heart swell with Love as I read your comment. God is so amazing. It has taken me a long time to accept his love and mercy. It has taken me a long time to know and feel his forgiveness and love. It has taken a long time for me to realize that it was there all along but my eyes were clouded with the darkness of the world and all the lies I accepted as truths.

    His love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and gentle ways still blow me away and seem so unfathomable, so out of sync with whats all around us. But Thank God, it's Truth!!

    May we all do it all out of Love for Him!!


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