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, June 25, 2012

Mt 7:1-5 Parable of The Sick Man

Mt 7:1-5  Parable of The Sick Man
Jesus said to his disciples:  “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.  For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.”
On July 4th, 2050, the American Medical Association came together for the last time.  A few months before, all hospitals and clinics were ordered shut for good.  After all, it had been years since anyone had been sick.  Yes, people continued to die, but they died for natural reasons. 
But a few years later, out of nowhere, came a young man who believed he was sick.  And since there were no longer any hospitals or clinics to go to, he would often wait outside the home of an elderly man who was once a doctor. 
“Doctor, I need to see you!” cried the young man standing in front of the shut door.  The elderly gentleman opened it and gently said to the poor fellow:  “Go home my dear child, go home.  You are not sick.  You are simply dying.” 
“I know I am dying”, said the young man.  “But I am too young to die.” 
The good humored man, full of wisdom and years, chuckled and said: “What is age? ...It is a human invention.  Besides, were we not born to die?” 
Saddened, the young man responded, “Yes doctor, but the aches and pains are becoming unbearable.  I can’t take it anymore.” 
With scientific love and a hand gently placed upon the frightened man’s shoulder, the former doctor replied:  “Aches and pains are a very natural thing my dear child.  They are becoming worse simply because the cancer is finally spreading, that’s all.” 
“But can it not be stopped???  I am too young to die!” 
“You are not too young to die…You are dying at the right moment.  You are being who you are.  You are living the way you were meant to live.  You see, you were born with a predisposition for cancer.  That’s all.  It’s not an illness, unless you consider old age or even life as an illness.  It’s who we are.  It’s who you are.  Accept it!  Embrace it!  This was our great discovery long ago.  The APA (American Psychological Association) got it right before we did, and just like them, we ended all illness by accepting it and, most importantly, by embracing it.  We are no longer weighed down by the enormous pressure to cure and to be cured.  Family and friends no longer have to be burdened by another’s illness.  We are free from insurance, mandates, bills and fees and pre-existing conditions.  Do you realize how good this is?  Your death will mean the end of all your aches and pains and all feelings of guilt and remorse.  In fact, it will be the end to all your feelings.  Come now…Just be who you are and bear with the days you have left.  You are not sick, my dear child, you are human.  Now go and rest in peace.”
The young men turned around and slowly walked away.  All along he kept saying to himself, “But something isn’t right here.  Something inside of me keeps telling me the opposite.”
As the young man turned back one last time, the doctor said aloud, “You’re fine…You don’t need a doctor.  You need a change in attitude.  Attitude can make everything right.  Accept this dear child.  Accept this for your own good.”     
Stop judging.   The Lord demands that we stop judging.  The reasons for it are obvious:  (1) we tend to judge harshly and incorrectly and (2) we tend to judge according to our standard rather than His. 
The problem with our standard is that it keeps changing with time.  And, given enough time (and the wrong people in a position of authority), what was once judged wrong can easily become right.  And what was once considered good can quickly become bad.  
The Lord is not asking us to stop judging.  He is not demanding that teachers stop grading papers or giving out report cards.  He is not asking judges to stop handing down sentences or giving out awards.   What He is asking is that we judge correctly, according to His standard; that is, His law, His word, Christ’s Love; that we judge honestly, mercifully and lovingly.  And to do so, we must see things clearly. 
The moral of my parable is simple.  The worst thing that could ever happen to us is not that we are denied treatment, but rather, we are told we are not sick.  We are sick!  We are sinners!  We all need a doctor, a Savior, Jesus Christ.  The means to our salvation is the forgiveness of our sins.  But if we are told that we are not sinners, then we will surely die in our sins.  All hell will break loose! 
Teachers that accept bribes will grade unfairly.  Corrupt judges will let the innocent man die.  Sinners will insist all sins are nonsense.  If we do not see clearly, we will never judge wisely. 
All hell would have broken loose if Christ did not pull the wooden beam from our own eye and carry it for our salvation.
We know how God judges:  with a lot of patience and with the patient in mind.  We know how we must judge:  through self-examination and with the Greatest Doctor in mind. 


  1. When I saw what the Gospel reading for the day was I thought about how the secular world uses scripture passage to reference any correction of their wrong behavior and often, when we start to live a new life in Christ, they often accuse us of being judgmental or being holier than thou all the while they are judging us.

    It seems to be the norm in our world that there is tolerance for anything and equal rights for anyone except the Church and Christians.

    I wonder why the ACLU isn't all over this HHS mandate. OK, I don't!

    It's easy for us, Christians, to be afraid to share our faith and even to live our faith in public because we are not only judged by those around us, but the media and public figures. We are so often bullied and intimidated into keeping our mouths shut.

    Often these people who judge us are fellow Catholics.

    If we can't take this persecution, how are we going to take what is ahead of us? And it's not that far ahead.

  2. Excellent moral of the story….not that we are denied treatment but that we are told we are not sinners. I don’t know if it will take as long as 38 years, but the question I ponder is how I judge. I can teach my children, dialogue with friends, family, even non-believers about Christ. But if our country gets to this point in your story, how do I judge? I know better than these people. The persons who know better, b/c we do have more graces in the sacraments, are expected to give more (Luke 12:48). As a cell in the body of Christ, I honestly do not mind suffering for the entire body. So what if they take away our hospitals, universities, etc? Yes, I will hurt, my children will hurt, all Christians will suffer. But did Christ do any less? What I’m trying to say is that I am praying that our government leaders do not pass the HHS; however, if it does happen, is God not allowing this? Am I not to accept this new will of God? I know this is not what you are saying in your story, but it is something that I have been thinking about. It is such a great time to be living: it is truly chaotic! If I do pray that God grant me to be a saint, don’t I await the cost? Maybe this is God's way of making us saints. Maybe not. How does one know?

    Also, I won’t judge your fairy tale story….jk.

    1. Wow, your thoughts are my thoughts as well. Didn't God allow our current President to be seated in office? I keep asking myself, "why?" My prayer is that perhaps God has allowed it so that our President would awake this sleeping giant, Christians, and something good will come out of this. Sadly, This parable feels to me like it could be our truth some day.

      Am I the only own who wishes Jesus would just come back already and end this madness? Is there something wrong with me for feeling this way? It's not that I am confident of where my soul will rest, I'm a work in progress for sure. I don't know, I just don't know what to think about where this country and world is headed......................

    2. I think that Jesus is trying to come back on this earth in each one of us!! Our egos just have to get out of the way. Just look at how all Christians are coming together now and standing before our government as one body! The sleeping giant is gradually awakening! All things work together for good...I think we will have to suffer as Christians on this earth, living the unknown day to day, but accepting this will of God. Not my will, but yours. If this is what you want God, then I want it too. Isn't this the truest meaning of being a Christian?
      There is nothing wrong with you feeling this way. Who wants to suffer? It's not that I want to suffer just to suffer, but I will fight to win this war - it's just me I have to overcome to win it.

  3. Interesting parable. Very different.... I kept thinking the title should be "The Healthcare Games." (A little spin off from "The Hunger Games.") I think what you propose is very scary and hopefully will never come to fruition.

    As for wishing Jesus would come back and end the madness, there's nothing wrong thinking this. However, I believe we have so much more to understand and to accomplish before Jesus says, "Enough is enough! I'm taking over the world and judging every single person on this planet!" We see unprecedented changes affecting our country. It's a scary reality yet we cannot become so darn depressed, doomed and gloomed that we do absolutely nothing. We need to continue to live our life, live our faith, in the best way know how. Take a stand for our beliefs but in a loving manner following Christ's high standards and not our own.

    Father Alfonse - One thing I have observed is that you tend to say things/reasons are "so obvious." In your mind, is there an instance when something is **not** obvious? I'm not criticizing just wondering. To you it may be "obvious" but to others it may be little confusing.....

  4. First of all, I do wish Jesus would come already, well, once my daughter is back in a state of grace and then if He could come right away, before she has time to "return to her former ways" that would be my choice for His coming!

    I was sick when Obama got in and I could not believe it was God' will, but I have seen how so many Christians and Americans have been awakeneed. Unfortunately it took an infestation of demons to do it.

    Now this HHS thing, how could that be in any way beneficial to His Kingdom? Well it is getting Christian denominations to join up with His True Church. With exposure to the fullness of truth, maybe more 'sheep' will come home. Other than that, all I can see is the beginning of the end. Well not the beginning. We are way past the beginning.

    While we are addressing Father's 'line of thinking', I think you are right Anon #4. He does say what we already know, at least what Catholics that are plugged in already know. But I do imagine there are those out there who are not plugged and read this blog because they are Father Alfonse groupies or not that deep in their faith and his homilies/blogs are perfect for that crowd. He speaks so anyone can understand and relate. He once told me, "God will take you anyway He can get you". He's using bagels after daily morning mass with 'the guys' to get my husband there. That is a miracle in itself!

    I read because he often makes me think of things I hadn't thought of before and I love to read the comments and see what others think. I wish more people would comment.

    1. I'd like to see more comments from variety of opinions. Sometimes the more critical/challenging comments get ridiculed and torn to pieces by the "groupies." (Father Alfonse himself can get quite heated, too.) I think this is a shame because a lot can be learned from alternative opinions. Not everything is black or white. Some areas are grayer and worth reflection.

      Father's celebrity status is something I'm not accustomed to. It seems so wrong and superficial yet his "status" seems to benefit so many of the faithful. (I see this especially with the teens and affluent large families he seems to minister to the most.) Recently "fans" were taking their pictures with him after a parish Evening of Reflection. I was shocked and thought, "How odd!" I guess it's like taking your picture with the Pope or something! No wrong in it. It's just something I would feel weird doing unless it was part of a Wedding, Baptism, or First Communion. Father Alfonse definitely has a following. :)

    2. My friends and I take pictures with our teachers and coaches. Now we have a "spiritual" coach we can relate to.

      Commenters here have criticized others for supposedly not seeing Father as a real person, and have harped on reminding us that he's a man. (Yeah, we get it.) However, when he does act in a way that we all do (friends take pictures with friends), apparently that's a problem too. Can't win with all these complaints.

      Matthew 11:17 We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.

    3. Wow...what a crazy, judgmental statement about the picture taking! Perhaps they wanted a picture with Fr. Alfonse because when asked for guidance based on TRUTH he gave them hard news to hear(yet in full accordance to the Church, the Magisterium, and the Catechism...the words ofJesus Christ) and they had to humble themselves before God and put Him first for the first time of their lives... Perhaps Fr. Alfonse and his very courageous homilies has made such an impact and direct line tothe Lord for their children that the HolySpirit, working through him, has fostered vocations that one would have never imagined...and perhaps the message, through the Holy Spirit, has made these "affluent" families not be so affluent(truly) because he has made such a holy, humbling impression inem(through God's grace), that they are giving money that originally would have been spent on themselves, to those struggling I ways you an not imagine.
      So, please don't judge...Fr. Alfonse has made a difference in our lives that you cannot imagine, and it is all due tothe grace of God. But, Fr. Alfonse is tangible, and he is a blessed influence, and tojave a picture with him would be great, because it would capture a pointing our lives where God truly made our hearts change forHim, and only Him. We do not worship Fr. Alfonse...he is human, but the Lord has worked through him ways that have touched our souls and changed our lives, and we praise our dear Lord for that!
      God have mercy on us all, and may we all realize that Heaven is our destination, and if God,working through Fr. Alfonse, is the reason, and we are joyous because of it, then rejoice in it, too, instead of judging without a clue. I pray that we all may receive the message of God Ina way that we are changed forever. Thank you, Lord! And thanks, too,to Fr. Alfonse, who is only doing God's will.

  5. These "groupie"/"goo-goo" eyes comments are annoyingly condescending. They tend to be raised interchangeably and repeatedly by the same handful who seem to consider themselves to be superior thinkers. However, the version of "critical/challenging" thinking I've seen most of the time in these comments amounts to sniping, with little substance to back the attacks. (Look everybody! I think I found a flaw! Well, it's actually a partially fabricated flaw based on a twisted interpretation. Oh, well--let's go ahead and post about it anyway and sit back see the sparks fly!)

    1. This whole "groupie/fan" talk really bothers me. Yes, there is a following here, isn't that what blogs are all about, following the blogger and agree or disagree with their message? Father Alfonse is a well known priest, whether liked or disliked, he puts himself out there by honoring the truth, and that's what makes him a magnet for many folks. We all long for the truth and I personally prefer to have these kinds of friends and acquaintances. They keep me headed towards the narrow gate. I belong to a parish that grew very quickly because of the way the priest spoke to us - truth, and the hard truth, which is what we long for.

      Instead of praise, we should be praying for Father Alfonse and ALL clergy, Sisters, Brothers, etc. on a daily basis. Their vocation is by all means VERY difficult. I just so happened to dedicate my rosary for Father Alfonse today. Tomorrow it'll be another priest I know. People, these men need our prayers!

    2. Oh dear....Joining the discussion fairly late. It pains me to read this beautiful meditation, and very creatively-written story, turning into an uncomfortable discussion. :( I wish we could all agree and disagree respectfully. We do need to pray for our priests and our religious. However, let's also say extra prayers for peace within Father Alfonse's blog community.

      (I figure this Texas heat and ozone pollution may be making readers a little more irritable than normal.)



  6. I'm not so sure how this meditation created these comments. :). Ok... I'm going to ask all involved that comments made refer to the meditations and not on individuals directly.

  7. Dear Father Alfonse & Blog Readers,

    I sincerely apologize for my awful comments regarding the whole groupie fan and photograph complaints. It was absolutely ridiculous words to write. I am truly sorry for being judgmental and foolish.. I never meant to cause such a stir. I should've kept my thoughts to myself. I do not want to offend or anger others ever again on Father's blog.

    I seriously need to make a trip to Confession after this. The guilt is horrible. Again, I'm very sorry for having caused so much grief and taken up valuable meditation time with my terrible comments.


    1. I think the community of readers needs to remember this is a blog to help us meditate on God's word. I don't view this as a celebrity blog...I view this as a priest sharing his views on the reading and opening up the readers to "meditate" and draw closer to God. I don't see the need to judge other people's comments here. As Father suggested "refer to the meditation".

  8. Dear Anonymous,
    They were awful comments and "groupie" is insulting to those of us trying to find a sincere avenue to the Lord as well as to Father Alfonse. However, let "ye without ever putting our foot in our mouth" cast the first stone. Take any negativity you have in your life and give it to the Lord. Put it on the altar and offer it as your gift to God. Let him accept it so you no longer have to carry it with you. He'll gladly accept your offering - he really will... Have a meaningful confession... If you look outside the tables of church there is a little pamplet called "A Practicle Guide for the Sacrament of Confession." It is very tiny but huge in content. It takes honor to make things right, thank you for your posting. God bless you and may you find peace in your heart always.


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