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, July 30, 2012

Mt 13:31-35 A Seed of A Different Kind

Mt 13:31-35  A Seed of A Different Kind
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.  “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.  It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.  It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”
I believe it is an American proverb:  “When it rains, it pours.”  It’s not always a bad thing, especially when half the nation is in a terrible drought. 
Yesterday evening I returned home after having spent the weekend in Mexico City.  It was a long day of travel that only got longer.  Of course I was thrilled to be there.  It was the first wedding I ever performed in Mexico.  It was the first wedding I ever performed in which the bride and groom were former students of mine.   Although it was an honor and a privilege to be with them and their families, I was ready to get back home. 
American Airlines flies non-stop from Dallas to Mexico City.  They have four or five flights a day every day.  But yesterday, my flight (and only my flight) got cancelled.  I couldn’t believe it!  I had beat Montezuma’s revenge; I had beat the traffic; I had survived the roads; I had beat getting mugged or robbed.  Like Spirit Airlines, American Airlines could offer me nothing except an early morning flight the following day.  I was furious!  I left the airport bitter and got the first cab I could find.  
As I was heading back to the Hotel (the one I had just checked out of) the traffic became unbearable.  Bicyclists appeared in every direction.  Since the driver couldn’t get near the Hotel, he asked me to get out and walk ten blocks from the Hotel.  I couldn’t believe it.  With a bag in my hand, I began the walk.  I still left him a tip. 
When I got to the Hotel, I sought out a friend of mine.  He is a Platinum member with American Airlines.  He got on the phone and Viola! …I had a ticket in my name for one of the evening flights out of Mexico City.  Let’s not fool ourselves:  money talks.  I’m sure some poor guy is scratching his head wondering how “he” made a mistake that cost him his seat.
I went back to the airport, and without thinking twice, I checked in my bag.  Afterwards, I realized that I had left my prescription sunglasses in one of the outer compartments.  I thought to myself, “Oh no, I hope they don’t get crushed.”
I (along with my bag) made it back to Dallas. Better late than never.  While I was driving home, I noticed an object in the middle of the road.  I couldn't avoid it and ended up hitting a piece of an 18-wheeler’s tire.  I heard a horrible noise as I drove away.  It turns out the front bottom of my car is damaged.  I will need to get that fixed.
When I made it back to my house, I opened up my luggage to check and see if my sunglasses had survived the journey.  I opened the case and discovered that the glasses were gone.  I couldn’t believe it.  Actually, I could…and I did.  I began to do what most people would do.  I began to think horrible thoughts about people; generalize an entire nation; think of ways to get back at them; imagine what I would do the next time, etc.

To top it all off, I think I got Montezuma's revenge.

If we were to take today’s Gospel and turn it upside down we would get a very good description of the Kingdom of hell.  Yes, the Kingdom of hell is like a very small seed that a person took and planted in your field.  It is the smallest, yet when full-blown it can quickly grow and spread into the greatest of plants.  It consumes everything around it and leaves shade to hide. 

Those who are possessed by hatred, resentment and bitterness can quickly consume the good people that are around them.  Not a single living creature would dare come near or even think of dwelling or resting  upon them.    

Hell has a tendency of spreading like a wild fire in the midst of a drought.  Hell begins for plenty of good reasons.

Christ entered where no man dared come near to.
But as there are many good reasons to hate, there are plenty of good reasons to love and be loved.  “It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (cf. Jn 15:16).
The Lord had plenty of good reasons to hate.  That reality is what makes him so much more remarkable.  A weak man knows how to hate.  It takes a very strong man to know how to love.  We have the model in Jesus Christ.  Do not forget God who gave you birth.” (Dt 32)

Moments like the one I had above are moments that test our patience and our faith.  It's good to have moments like these.  It helps us to see just how much spiritual progress has been made.
Christians are called to be seeds of a different kind: of Christ’s kind and of Christ’s kindness. 

We grow were least expected. 


  1. We REALLY missed your meditations and are glad you're home safely! I know you're all grown up and all, but here is some advice for your stomach: grapefruit and grapefruit juice helps kill the parasite, ginger ale (we always have this on hand!) will sooth your stomach and digestive track, as will Sprite. Get yourself some Pepto Bismal and use mostly before you eat and so go run out to Chick-Fil-A ;) and get a grilled chicken sandwich for some good healthy protein but no fries! Alcohol will dehydrate and make you feel worse. Best of luck!

  2. You certainly were tested Father. I'm sorry to hear about your adventures on the way home. It certainly was a test of your patience and your faith, as so often happens when "it rains, it pours". I had some tests on the way home from a family vacation. Rather than let it ruin the vacation....I just had to laugh and say "oh well, this makes for a good story later on."

    Hope what the first comment had to say helps you. Welcome home.

  3. Father, it seems that air travel never goes according to plan for you. I'll keep you in my prayers!

  4. It must be nice to have wealthy friends. I am sure a few more affluents will pay for the new shades and the car repair (like that shiny new iPhone...) And you think your life is so hard? Yeah a few travel set backs but overall you have it peachy, Father. At least you came home safe to hundreds wishing you well. I think of So many people down there in Mexico in.xtreme poverty and nothing decent to fly home to. They are living in a literal kingdom of Hell. We must all be thankful for our blessings but also be aware of the less fortunate. A seed of a different kind.....

    1. I would agree with all your assumptions with regards to me. But I have traveled enough times to Mexico to know that poor people are not always living in hell as rich people living in paradise. You should know that by now if u know enough poor people and rich people.

    2. Every once in a while...these meditation comments get a little nasty which is truly disappointing. Why attack anyone in this blog? Are we not all here to increase our faith? I am always saddened when someone makes a nasty comment in this mediation blog. What is the saying...there can only be peace between men of good will. If we can't even have peace in this blog how can we expect peace to grow between warring nations. Why read this blog if you don't even respect the author? I come here for the meditation...not to see people ripping into each other. There is enough of that everywhere else in the world. We can't all live our lives feeling guilty because there is poverty in the world. It is terrible it exists in ANY part of the world, but that doesn't mean owning an iphone makes you a frivolous person who doesn't care (by the way I have one and it cost me $ long as I had a data contract). I think the point being made, it is frustrating to go through all matter who you are...and to still stay true to your Christian faith. Far easier to be angry and resentful and let people have it. Much harder to control yourself and exhibit kindness in moments you are tested.

    3. I get really tired of anonymous people attacking what they believe are "nasty comments" about Father without seeing the bad side of his personality. It's all smiles and giggles. This is a shame because it saddens me to know someone who deep inside is quite prideful and arrogant, displaying more care towards teens and rich families than the rest of the others (I.e. divorced, widows, SINGLES). He ignores the plights of others thinking they aren't of any importance. I do pray and I do reflect. I see other priests who'd never show preference or bias toward individuals. I don't know how many times I've reached out for assistance to be pushed aside as if I was a diseased leper. Telling me to go pray more or to stop reading this blog isn't going to help. The personality is still there. The indifference toward me is there, too. I'm sorry if I sound nasty and attacking. I just get tired of trying to be in Father's special "in crowd" to be totally dismissed.

      I know plenty of rich and poor people. The poor people are usually much more down to earth and Christian-like. They don't try to get handouts from the rich or self-gratification. They aren't pretentious Dallasites or Dallas immigrants making themselves out to be superior.

      Nothing like wanting to talk to Father about a personal issue and be told to go speak to someone else. He has no time for me but has plenty of time to spend with others he feels are more worthy of his ministerial service. I am a very kind hearted person with much love. However, when I feel jaded and cast off I do feel resentment. I don't need to be reminded of my faults by a bunch of anonymous people.

  5. So happy you got home safely Father Alfonse :)

    Get some rest ! ;)

  6. Aye Padre, it wasn't Montezuma Revenge, my people would say "por andar de corajudo" :] Father think of your adventure as "tilling" the soil… and here we were thinking you were somewhere special celebrating a special day ;] I will pray that you feel better and come back next week having received some TLC and with a refreshed Spirit!

    1. Yes ! I agree.

      Father needs some TLC :)

      Father Alfonse is strong a Priest and has the Lord on his side :)

  7. While reading the evening prayers in Magnificat...I reflected back on the attack anonymous made on Father....and how it might help "anonymous" to go there for prayer. And how true Father's reply...there are plenty of wealthy people, who have it all, living in hell and plenty of people who don't have anything who are joyful. I grew up knowing many people who were affluent, famous, and on the outside had it all, but they had tragic lives and were very unhappy. Would I call one of these affluent friends if I needed a favor, YES. Does that mean I am responsible for poverty in the world or abusing power, NO. It would mean I have a friend who could help me and I am fortunate. Isn't this a forum to come together for a common goal....our faith? I for one would want my friends to reach out to me if I could help. Could Father's friend with platinum status end poverty because he flies enough to earn that status...I doubt it....why begrudge him or Father? Peace!

  8. Father, next time you fly with American, let me know. I'm glad you are back. Me and the girls need to see you soon. God bless!


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