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, September 24, 2012

Luke 8:16-18 You Never Know

Luke 8:16-18  You Never Know
Jesus said to the crowd:  “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.”
Early this morning I received a phone call from the emergency line.  It was someone asking what time morning Mass was.  I couldn’t believe it!  This person was calling me on the emergency line for that? “What did you say?” I said.  But before they could repeat the question, I looked at the time on my cell phone.  Now I really couldn’t believe it!  It was 6:20 am and I was still in bed!
On any given day I would have been pretty upset about that phone call.  But this morning, I was extremely grateful.  Why?  Because it woke me up.  I arrived just in the nick of time to celebrate the 6:45 morning Mass.  I couldn’t believe it.
You never know the good you can do.  Take for example the person who called me this morning.  I am convinced they have a lot of faith in priests.  After all, would you call a priest early in the morning on the emergency line just to find out what time Mass is?  I wouldn’t!  I know what kind of person would do something like that:  a humble – very humble – person; a person with a tremendously thick skin and rich faith.
We should all be like that, for you never know just how your faith and goodwill could “save” someone today. 
At the conclusion of today’s Mass, someone came up to me and said, “Father, thank you for being here.  Your homily was exactly what I needed to hear this morning.  Thank you!”  Little did they know how close I was to not being there at all.
You never know the good you can do.  That got me thinking again.  We have been conditioned, one could even say “brainwashed” into thinking that faith is something that should be reserved and privately observed.  What nonsense!
This morning’s call was a wake-up call for me in more than one way.  It reminded me that I am here to feed my sheep, and not to worry so much about feeding anger in the wolves that surround me.
Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament.  It is a classic example of the Old Law:  “Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim…Plot no evil against your neighbor, against one who lives in peace with you…Quarrel not with a man without cause…with one who has done you no harm.”
The Old Law was all about justice.  “Refuse no one the good…HE HAS A CLAIM TO.”  “Plot no evil against your neighbor…THE ONE WHO LIVES IN PEACE WITH YOU.”  Do you see something wrong with this?  Do you see something wrong with being nice to those who are nice to you, and good to those who are good to you?  If you do, then you know the difference between the Old Law of justice and the New Law of love.
Christians are not lambs that live on the safe side.  Christians are lambs that cross to the other side.  They live among the wolves; among their distant relatives.  And this can be very annoying, irritating and considered arrogant by those who live on the other side!  It’s true!  But if one lamb can save one wolf before being devoured by an entire pack of wolves, then it was well worth it.  We know this by our history.  Good always triumphs over evil.  One ray of light is all it takes to break the darkness of the night. 
Far too often we are reluctant to share our faith because we are concerned about “offending” others.  And we feel this way even while the “others” are offending us and gaining ground. 
But the truth of the matter is made clear in Christ’s words and actions.  We are no longer called to have the faith of our Jewish brothers and sisters.  We are no longer restricted by the Law which is found in the Old Testament or in today’s first reading.  We have been set free by the Lord to cross to the other side and visit with sinners, converse with them and save them.
The Law that now governs us is found written in the heart of Jesus Christ.  It is the Law of Love and Light.  The Lord commanded his followers to shine everywhere.  He invited them to be a BIG TARGET; to let people know where you are, where you stand, what you believe in!  And even though the vast majority of people will do whatever it takes to take you out - to blow you out - so be it.  It is still important that you keep the light burning where it can be seen by all and for as long as you can.   
And don’t forget:  like the empty tomb, even a blown out candle can be an eloquent witness to the lasting power of Jesus Christ.


  1. It is so hard to be a light when someone prefers the darkness. It can be very draining. But, as you say when you follow Christ your a BIG TARGET. Sometimes I can handle being the target, and other times I have to build my armor up to be that target. Thank you for your constant wisdom.

  2. ‘Far too often we are reluctant to share our faith because we are concerned about “offending” others. And we feel this way even while the “others” are offending us and gaining ground.’ Yes, I am concerned about offending those that do not know my God of Love, precisely because He is a God of Love, and I must radiate that Love, not proselytize with ulterior motives. Do I really think I can convert someone with just my words??? One way the Holy Father said that we can evangelize is by being holy ourselves, re-evangelize ourselves first. Then we will have the graces to Love another through actions or words. I think of Jesus’ words: "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth." Jn 17:19.
    Father, how many times you have talked about paradoxes on this earth compared to heaven? Do you really think that when others are offending us that they are gaining ground? Only on this earth.... It's exactly what you said, the Old Law was all about justice. As Christ, we cannot live by that law but by the Law of Love.

  3. I received this partial meditation today from a friend. It's just what you spoke about with an additional objection to evangelize.
    We can generate Christ in people the same way that Mary gave Jesus to the world - precisely through living the Word, communicating the Word through our lives; we give Jesus to the world.
    Pope Benedict, in reference to the “year of faith”, writes: "Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received (the Word lived out). But faith also grows “when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness… (and it) opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord’s invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples”.
    But here a temptation comes to mind which could arise concerning the sharing of our efforts to live the Gospel; it is the temptation to be silent about them for fear of being prideful. But here Saint Ignatius of Loyola steps in and he warns us against this danger which he calls “false humility”. In a letter he says: "In seeing that the servant of God is so good and humble that... he thinks himself to be absolutely useless... the devil convinces him that if he speaks of a grace (like the light that comes from living the Word, we would add), if he speaks of a grace granted to him by the Lord our God, graces of works, resolutions and desires, he will be sinning because it will be like boasting of his own honour. In this way, the devil persuades him not to speak of the benefits received from his Lord and thus prevents him from producing fruits in others and in himself, since remembering benefits always leads to greater things."

  4. Father Alfonse! "You never know" is so true! Last night I fell asleep super early when my phone rang. I went to the kitchen to answer it and discovered the gas burner on the stove was still lit!! It had been on for at least two hours. For once I was glad a telemarketer called. :)

    I'm here at the airport flying American to L.A.. I'm shocked my flight is actually on time! Amazing! :)




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