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!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mt 13:54-58 Faith in Jesus

Mt 13:54-58  Faith in Jesus
(Click here for readings)

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue…and they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.”  And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

Faith is sometimes confused as believing in what cannot be seen or heard or known.  But that’s not quite right.  Faith is actually based on solid facts. 

Faith in God means to acknowledge the Lord’s presence.    

He did not work many mighty deeds there.  When I was a child, I used to think like a child and act like a child.  If I was interested in showing someone how intelligent I was, I would dazzle them with all the things I knew.  If I wanted to impress my friends, I would do some crazy things.  If I wanted to make an impression on some girl, I would act like someone other than myself.  Today, if I want to impress my friends at how intelligent I am, then I will listen to them.  If I want to impress my friends then I will do something for them.  If I want to make an impression on some girl, then I will treat them like my own daughter.

It all came to a shock to me at how different the Lord was from me.  It was a shock to me when I read this passage for the first time in CCD class and noticed that the Lord did nothing, absolutely nothing, to impress his childhood friends and neighbors.  Why?  Didn’t he want to increase their faith?  Didn’t he have the best opportunity in the world to dazzle them, impress them and have them marvel at Him?  Why does Scripture state, “He did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith”?  

Come on God!  That’s not fair!  If you want me to believe in you then show yourself to me!  Do something God-like!  Amazing!  Something...I don’t know…incredible?  Don’t just stand there and stare at me with those big brown eyes!  Show me who you are.  Otherwise, I will just think that you are someone below me or just like me. 
Jesus came to his native place.  I have a feeling that many of our Olympians, when they return, will be greeted in a very special way by the President of the United States, but not necessarily by those closest to them.  Why?  For a variety of reasons:  we tend to marginalize those we know; we take people, like life and things, for granted; we have a hard time acknowledging someone else’s accomplishments; we have a hard time being objective.

Is he not the carpenter’s son?  Families that are very religious tend to have the most rebellious children.  Why?  Because their kids equate their faith in God with the faith of their parents.  If they are upset with mom and dad, chances are they will be upset with God and His Church; if they think their life sucks, then they will think the world sucks.  If they think that the world is a disaster, chances are it’s because their life is a disaster.  If they think you have a problem, it usually means they have a problem.  Faith is a response to the Lord’s invitation to see things as they really are, and not as we have made them to be.

It’s not intellectual prowess that tends to separate us from God.  It’s pure and simple pride that does it for us.  All of us prefer to be God rather than to acknowledge a God.  All of us tend to prefer death rather than admit our mistakes.  “Is he not the carpenter’s son?”  No.  He’s not.  And this one mistake of ours will cost us His head.  This one simple mistake, will lead to all future mistakes; any honest enquiry, open investigation and any objective conclusions.    

The people of Nazareth could not imagine the Messiah as poor, as one like them, as one similar to them in all things except sin.  After all, if I am a sinner, then who does he think he is?  And that one assumption was enough to settle the matter.

Faith means to acknowledge the Lord’s presence.  To acknowledge Him requires honesty, humility and openness.  If not, then we are more than capable of making some horrible conclusions based on erroneous, prideful and closed assumptions.  “They were astonished at him”…and yet, they refused to acknowledge him.

Faith is not blind.  Faith is not some thoughtless, mindless exercise.  Faith is not something we cross our fingers to.  Rather, faith is an intellectual act; it is how man responds to God’s presence.  Make no assumptions about it, It is not the emptiness or darkness that makes me search for someone out there; it is the light of the world that gives me faith; that allows me to acknowledge Him.  It is not the door that makes me wonder; it is the knock on the door that gives me faith in someone out there; it is opening the door that gives me knowledge of who is standing before me.      

If I tend to think my life is boring, then it’s not because God is boring.  It’s because I am acting like an animal.  When animals sniff around and find nothing, they sleep.  When humans look around and find nothing, they reflect.  Take some time to reflect.  This is something that only humans can do.  This is one reason why only human’s can believe!  Ask yourself:  Am I dazzled by the sun?  Am I thrilled every time I see the moon?  Am I impressed at how incredible 24 hours are in a single day?  Do I still believe that two eyes are better than one?  Then why not three?  Have I come to realize that what I take for granted is not so usual?  Do I understand that it is all by design and not by survival.  Can I separate the objective from the subjective?  Can I separate my past from my future?  Can I acknowledge God without the hindrance of others?  Can I separate my life from Christ’s life?  Try it.


  1. Can't tremendous faith in Jesus Christ help eleviate the boredom in our lives? Can't that raw, powerful and infinite faith help us reflect more on our blessings? My natural tendency when boredom strikes is to dwell on what is lacking in my life. I worry and fret. I'm easily tempted into sinful habits. It's like the Devil strikes when my mind is unoccupied. Pure, quiet, devoted reflection is a challenge for me. My mind races with thoughts about what I need to do here, there, and tomorrow. I find when the "Uh oh...what am I going to do now?" strikes I shut God out. After reading your meditation, Father, I realize I need to change my thinking pattern. When life is boring and just plain cruddy I need to look around and think: "Wow, I have so many blessing and so many great things going on! Why wallow in self-pity at the stuff I don't have or the stuff that isn't going perfect? Let's allow *faith* to take over and acknowledge God's presence in my personal life as well as the world around me. Things will work out in His timeframe. Just show a little patience, humility, and love." :)


  2. To acknowledge GOD requires honesty, humility and openness- that is what I'm doing now in my life :)
    It feels refreshing and Peaceful to acknowledge our LORD

    that is so true and sad to know father :( I have friends and some family members that are that way.What u stated: we tend to marginalize those we know; we take people, like life and things, for granted; we have a hard time acknowledging someone else’s accomplishments; we have a hard time being objective.

    Good Night My Father :)

  3. Father Alfonse,

    I'm surprised that as a priest you chose to use the "S" word twice when you were talking about the carpenter's son. I think you could have come up with another word that would have been more appropriate and still have gotten your message across. I have a lot of respect for you and using this word was sure a disappointment.

    1. I'm sorry you are disappointed, Anonymous. But, the word "sucks" is not a bad word. He could've used a lot nastier words such as the "F" word to express himself. If you have "a lot of respect" for him, why not respect his language usage and not judge? This is Father's blog and Father will write the way he wants. I think "life sucks" and the "world sucks" is an expression most of us identify with. I don't think rephrasing in a "Rated G" language would have the same impact.

      Peace! (I don't want to debate or fight about this. Just expressing my opinion, too.)


    2. The term, "sucks", is a reference to weasels and other small predators who break into henhouses and suck the brains of the chickens, as well as the contents of the eggs.

      It has unfortunately taken on sexual overtones in recent years.

    3. Interesting...I was not aware of the alternative meaning relating to small predators. Im sure Father would never use the word as a sexual overtone. (Oh my....Im blushing typing this...)

      You are in my prayers, Jan!


  4. @ Anonymous! Oh my goodness! I thought we are all adults hear on Fathers blog.I do not feel uncomfortable or WEIRD that Father Alfonse says OR states these kinds of words like suck or whatever inappropriate words on HIS blog.

    I guess people are just SO sensitive from Father's opinions down to his word usage on his own blog

    I Do not want to hurt no ones feelings :(

    Totally agree with you Jennifer !:)

    said my peace, my prays is to everyone

    Sorry Father my Mexican temper side that came out LOL.....................


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