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, July 10, 2012

Mt 9:32-38 When Much Is Given

Mt 9:32-38  When Much Is Given
(Click here for readings)
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.  At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were…like sheep without a shepherd.
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t Catholic or a priest!  God can be so hard on me!
While reading today’s first reading, I noticed how God is constantly reminding the Jews to be loyal and faithful to Him.   He’s tough with them; all the time!  And it’s not just in today’s reading; it’s a constant theme in every reading!  Why doesn’t the Lord pick on the Assyrians?  Why doesn’t he harp on the Egyptians?  Why does he leave them alone and not his own?
The same is true of Jesus.  He is constantly criticizing the Pharisees, the scribes, the elders and the chief priests.  Why?  Why doesn’t he pick on someone His own size?  Why doesn’t He go after the Romans?  Why doesn’t he say something to them?  “Hey Caesar, did you ever try being gentler with your enemies?  Pilate, did you know there’s a better way to deal with criminals than to just crucify them?”  Nope.  The Lord remains quite silent with them.  In fact, he doesn’t like to deal with them, unless they need His help.  Instead, the Lord prefers to pounce on his own.  He is constantly going after his own.  Why is that?
Where much is given, much is expected!  I would never expect an elderly man to help me carry boxes.  I would expect a young man to carry an elderly man’s boxes.  I would never expect a crippled man to help me move things into my home.  I would expect a healthy man to help a crippled man move his things into his home.  To whom much is given, much is expected.  I would not expect a young man to have all the right answers.  I would expect an older man to ask all the right questions. 
We are Catholics.  Much is expected.  Very much is expected.  It’s not an easy life.  It’s a lot of work!  It’s not as easy to lead as it is to be led.  It’s not as fun to be the Shepherd as it is to be the sheep (unless it’s being led to the slaughter; and even in that case, we, the Shepherds, would have to go first!!!).  We just don't seem to ever get a break! 
Just once, wouldn’t it be nice to lie like the rest and let your conscience get away with it?  I’m not talking about a little lie…Nooooo!  I’m talking about a BIG TIME LIE! Just once, wouldn’t you like to think of yourself first?  Wouldn’t it be great to serve just yourself, just once?  Wouldn’t it be great to abandon all your responsibilities, justify all your crimes and punch out an eye or a tooth? Oh, how wonderful it would be to kill your enemy, destroy their reputation, and knock out the lights!  Wouldn’t it be great to get away with murder?     
But this is not for us.  Our God talks…and hears and sees.  “Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does.  Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men.  They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; they have ears but hear not…”
Well then, what about God?  Shouldn’t we expect more from Him???  Shouldn’t we expect peace on earth?  Why not?  After all, to whom much is given, much is expected!   What does the Lord have to say about that?  Like I said before, our God speaks…loud and clear:  If you desire peace then forgive those who offend you; love those who hurt you.  If you offer a drink of water, you offer it to me.  If you do this, then good will triumph over evil. 
But you need to do this first, if you want to see what happens next.
Idols don’t speak, but their makers do.   And what they say is hardly new.  In fact, they keep refurbishing the same old arguments that keep repeating the same old conflicts.  You would think by now we would have learned our lessons.  You would think by now we would change our allegiance.  You would think by now we would all look for a new and unique leader!
Plenty of sheep, few shepherds to follow.  The Lord has given us plenty:  plenty of opportunities, plenty of graces, plenty of sheep.  Let’s break from the crowd and start leading today.


  1. Great meditation. As St John of the Cross said, “Where you find no love, put love, and then you will find love.” Be the first to love, you will soon find love. I remember reading something of St Francis: he expected much of himself, but not so much of those around him. What a feat! Usually the measure I measure myself and my standards are the same measure I use for others. Psychologically, this is natural. But I think the saints lived supernaturally! This thought has helped me to live more like Christ. I know you have talked previously about expectations as being good, I agree in certain situations. But when I am dealing w/my peers who are not strong in (or even have) faith, I’m not so sure. Living w/expectations of others is so tiring, hurtful and can even become resentful…. I know this is not your point, your meditation, but since there are no comments, I am just going to ramble about expectations in general! When I expect something from someone, I am waiting on them to change or even to hear a response from them….something to make me feel good, like I’ve accomplished something. But what if that person doesn’t deliver? What happens? I am the one to get frustrated, tired of waiting, resentful, etc. I think God is trying to tell me something; it’s what Mother Teresa said: “God does not call us to be successful, but to be faithful.” Man, how many times I do not hear!! I am only called to love! If the person does not respond, so what? My expectations do not matter!! My “success” does not matter! What matters is that I was faithful. What matters is that I loved. God wants to change me, and He wants me to know that I know that He wants to change me. I am truly a much happier person, who can continue to not expect anything from anyone but myself: I have to know that this is what it is all about; dying to myself. I can truly find happiness in dying to myself..... it's all about acceptance.

    1. Anonymous,
      I usually don't reply to bloggs, but a couple of weeks ago I was having those same thoughts (frustrated, tired of waiting, resentful, angry). This is just an excerpt from a prayer book, "My Walk with Christ" a section called "Prayer in a Moment of Anger" it was given to my son when he graduated from Jesuit.
      "The Christian message tells us that it is only when we discover God's love for us that we will be ready to love those who offend us. Christ has shown us that true happiness is in loving the other without demanding him to change. The true happiness is to love the other as Christ loves, in the dimension of the cross."
      Prayer: "Father you know my heart and I never want to offend you by my thoughts or actions. Help me to dialogue with you in times of anger (I would add frustration, resentful, hurt). Give me the Spirit of your Son so that I may experience that happiness is loving the other. I offer to you my anger so that I may in turn receive your love. Amen" Faith, hope and love they are there for all of us!

  2. This is an outstanding meditation, Father. I think God is hard on all of us but especially our clergy. Please do not ever wish you were not a Catholic or a priest. We need more strong men like yourself to defend the faith and minister to the faithful.

    In many respects, I sometimes wish I wasn't a Catholic or a single woman. The single life is not easy, especially as I get older and desire a family. (Financially it's very difficult.) I'm no spring chicken anymore. My looks are fleeting and my body depleting. Good single Catholic men are a rarity. I've had to accept the fact that God has chosen this path for me. It's somewhat depressing; however, I know Our Lord is challenging me to use my state in life in "the new evangelization." I need to step up to the plate and accept a more leadership role. This is hard for me to do. I prefer to be led by holier people. There's a lot of doubt, fear, and resentment because I'm a single when everyone around me is married with children. I often envy people like you, Father Alfonse, who are so charismatic and gifted. I'm just a normal gal with a normal (often boring) life even though I'd love to make a bigger impact.


  3. Anonymous 1 & 2, thank you for posting your meditations with such eloquence. Those are words that sank deep in to my heart! I must add that I am elated to be a Catholic! Persecution and all! Yes, it's very frustrating when the media wants to smear our reputation and not report the beautiful and charitable aspects of our faith. But where else could you find a religion that can be traced back to the Last Supper?!


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.