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!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mk 16: 15-20 Ascending by Descending

Mk 16: 15-20  Ascending by Descending
(Click here for readings)
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.  But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Congratulations to the Class of 2012!  Now get out of here and go do something worthy of your life; worthy of the calling you have received.
The Lord did not ascend into heaven to abandon us.  No!  He ascended into heaven to lead us.  Today, on Ascension Sunday, the Lord showed His disciples where faith, hope and love lead:  to Our Father; to Heaven.  So, if we are to rise up to Heaven, we must begin by falling in love on earth, for falling in love is “The Way” of the Lord.  There is no other way to experience heaven, but to fall in love. 
How can I live a worthy life?  That is, a life that would include the rich and poor, the young and old, the healthy and ill, the winners and the losers; a life that would be independent of the economy, political parties, my education, my inheritance, my age. What must I do?  St. Paul reminds us to “live a life worthy of the calling you received…imitate the Lord in humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another lovingly.” (Eph 4:1)  That is a worthy life?  That’s it?  Yes.  Imitate the Lord.
Again, he states:  “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,…the riches of glory in his inheritance…the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe…in the exercise of God’s great might which worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him above all power and dominion.  He put all things beneath his feet.”  (Eph 1:17-23)
He put all things beneath his feet….What things did he put behind him, under him, beneath him?  Answer:  The bad.  Betrayal.  Rejection.  Humiliation.  Mockery.  Human praise.  Human success. 
What are these things?  Simply said, they are stepping stones; stepping stones that lead to greatness; to HEAVEN. 
Death before disgrace.  Death before dishonor.  Selflessness before selfishness.  Love before thyself. Humility.  Fidelity.  Grace.  Dignity.  Honor.  Love. 
College life is not an easy life; not because it is College, but because it is a part of life, and there are some moments in life where sin abounds unchecked, unlocked and unabashedly. 

Midlife is not an easy life; not because there is a thing called a "mid-life crisis", but because there is a thing such as false idols or the wrong idols.  We can be heading in one direction for years before we realize we are heading in the wrong direction.
Be on your guard!  Watch your back.  Don’t be na├»ve.  The Lord told His own disciples, “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.”  This is the good news:  we know what to expect. Know perfectly well that persecution and hatred is for certain; misunderstandings are foreseen, and carrying a cross is guaranteed.
But College life does not have to be Hell.  Here are five tips for all.
1.        Rise to Heaven by putting God first.  God above all things.  We are called to love our neighbor, but God first.  We are called to love our neighbor, but not agree with them on everything.  Before the Blessed Virgin Mary said “yes” to man, she said “yes” to God.  And the story ended happily ever after.  Remember who you are:  God’s gift to the world.  Do not be afraid to be generous with your time and talents.  Serve the Lord.  Serve others.  Serve yourself.  In the months to come there will always appear something apparently better than Mass, confession or adoration.  You know better.  Stick with your faith.  Stick to the truth.  Pack both of these when you go off to College.
2.       Rise to Heaven by living the Truth.  Tell the Truth.  Live the Truth.  Love the Truth.  Share the Truth.  And what is the truth?  It’s not something.  It is someone.  “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life.” Speak about the Lord.  Live with the Lord.  Love the Lord.  Share the Lord.  To be faithful to God means to be faithful to His Bride, the Church, who will help you stay faithful to your heart and faithful to your conscience.  Kathleen Sibelius recently said at Georgetown, “Be your own moral compass.”  What would Hitler say about that?  What would sex offenders say about that?  How could anyone say such an arbitrary thing?  So much of our life depends on the way we were brought up.  So much depends on the people we came into contact with.  We all need an outsider; a standard; someone that isn't like us.  We all need a Carpenter.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t know which walls must come down and which walls must to stay up.  Live the Truth by being another Christ.
3.       Rise to heaven by standing tall.  How can I stand tall when I have fallen so far?  We are all sinners, but not all of us ask for reconciliation.  Here is your chance to stand tall.  There is nothing that stands taller than a humble heart.  You may be amazed at how far gone or low the human person can go and still breathe!  But you will be even more amazed at how far a little grace can go.  Rise to what is right, good, holy and beautiful.  Together, they form a stairway to Heaven. 
4.       Rise to Heaven by carrying your cross.  College students love to partyyy.  Sometimes I wonder if I partied more than I studied.  I shouldn’t ask.  I know the answer.  College students tend to think that waking up every morning and getting to class on time is an accomplishment.  It isn’t.  Young people think that being responsible means allowing others to be irresponsible.  For example, the whole “designated driver” concept is a horrible concept because it helps one to be “responsible” while encouraging others to be totally irresponsible!  What would happen if the safety net was gone (as it so often happens when we grow up)?  We should know that dependence and reliance do not strengthen character, except for the person that everyone is depending and relying upon?  Carry your cross.  It is as formative as it is normative. It is commonplace to suffer before receiving glory.  It's perfectly normal to shed a few tears while getting a degree.   It’s okay to perspire while taking a final; that’s all part of the glory.  It’s perfectly normal to carry a cross to show your love.  That's what makes love so special.  Carry your Cross for the Lord just as the Lord carried it for you.   
5.       Trust in God and He will lift you up!  Trust in God.  Trust in His type Love (true love) and brand of Truth (only truth).  Trust in your Mission; His life in you.  There are no coincidences.  There are no accidents.  Trust in His power in you.  With Him, all things are possible.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you Father for always thinking about the youth and specially future college students,your meditation today is perfect for my daughter.
    My prayers,
    Maru

    ReplyDelete
  2. Father Alfonse, BEAUTIFUL MEDITATION and great advice, not only for young people, but for everybody. I will print it so me and my kids can read it over and over again. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agreed with the two comments above to the beauty and relevance to your meditations. I pray for you today for the spiritual leader you are through these writings. Your messages are so easy to understand and meaningful when put into use. Thank you Father for your direction. I appreciate it do very much!!!!.

    ReplyDelete

Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.