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, October 22, 2012

Luke 12:13-21 Beware!

Luke 12:13-21  Beware!
Jesus said to the crowd:  “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
One of the toughest challenges a priest faces is to talk about someone they did not know.  Funeral Masses can be very challenging.  Family members can find it hard to express their loved one’s life.  Friends seem to remember only the most frivolous or superficial (as well as embarrassing) things about the deceased.  The “natural” tendency we have is to turn a eulogy into a stand-up comedy.  Those who do so think they are helping the living out by breaking through a moment of seriousness and sadness with a joke.  Well, it may work, but do we have to break our sadness by just cracking jokes?  Could we not do better? 

Often I need to sit down with family members and friends to ask them to describe the deceased’s life.  Even with that, I don’t get much to work on.  I get more statistics than substance; more stories than significance; more means than ends; more accomplishments than goals.

For example:  A person’s goal in life should never be that he/she remained sober most of their life.  That’s not a goal; it’s a means to an end.   A person remains sober because they want to be a better husband or wife; a more relevant mother or father; a more loving brother or sister; a holy person.  That's the goal. 

I think it would be great if everyone wrote their own obituary.  I think it would be wonderful to let loved ones know, in your own words, what you thought of them.  Do not leave it to others to do it for you.  Why?  Because they don’t know you as well as you know yourself.  They don’t know what is important to you.  And you never know who will end up writing it for you.

A long time ago, I was specifically requested to celebrate a funeral Mass for a man I did not know.  I was honored yet surprised to learn that the family had asked me.  So I asked the family to help me give this man the recognition he deserved.  I asked them to write something down for me.  His ex-wife did it.  I won’t go into the details but it was not helpful.  I did not want his farewell to be his last confession!

Sometimes people consider it important to highlight their loved one’s economic success story; or their hobbies; or what they loved to collect (like beer cans and match boxes or lighters).  They neglect to mention what mattered the most because they don't know what matters most.  But when they do know, it makes all the difference in the world.  

Recently, I performed a funeral for a man who loved to collect things.  In fact, he collected many things.  That was interesting, but was that really important to him?  Did that really describe his life?  Finally, someone mentioned that he cherished his friends.  He never lost a friend.” 

That was it!  That’s what I needed to hear.  Yes, he collected many things in his life, but his greatest collection was his friendships.  He collected friends throughout his entire life and never lost a single one.  He cherished everything and everyone in his life.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments?  In your life, who influenced you the most?  What did your family mean to you?  Who did you listen to the most?  Who should you have listened to?  What did you consider to be important?  If there was anything you could have changed, what would it have been? What advice would you like to give to your loved ones; to others? 

In today’s Gospel, the Lord tells his listeners a parable regarding a man who stored up treasure on earth but forgot about the things that mattered most.   One night he passed away, unexpectedly. God said to the man, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?  Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God. 

We do not know the hour or the day in which our journey on earth will end.  It’s good to start thinking about what matters most and to write it all down.  Believe me, this is not just practical advice for the elderly, the sick or the dying.  This is something that we should all be doing, and periodically updating.  Even kids should be doing this.  They could do it in religion class.  It will help them to focus more on what matters the most (God, family and friends) and less on what matters the least:  themselves and being popular.    


  1. This is an exception to my promise. I am so, so sorry. I wasn't thinking straight... apparently. It's all good and I have my normal head on again....only with the grace of God. You are a good man, Father.

  2. Wow! Were we thinking the same subject today,"Great minds think alike LOL!;) I just e-mail a special person in my life regarding death and seeking some guidance hummmmmm lol!~

    It is funny, when my Grandmother died in 2008. Yes our family was very sad and heart broken. But my Grandmother had a favorite child between my mother and my Aunt. So when she passed away.My Grandmother gave her favorite all the responsibly of money, arrangement and plans for her funeral.(my Grandmother saved about 30k in cash). I guess you can say,my Aunt hit the" Jake pot." When it was time to do her Eulogy my Aunt and her family wrote things like: she was an Angel,an incredible person,kind and generous person ect...... Not! My Grandmother had too much pride, she did not trust her own children, but she trust strangers.She would talk behind people back and say bad and all-full things and criticized her own Grandchildren :( She never showed emotion. But she did inspire me of the way her life was and how she struggled in her life and her end result of life, was remarkable! And I 'm proud to part of it ;)

  3. Father Alfonse,
    This is perfect timing. October is always a difficult month for me. I lost two important men in my life in the month of October. I lost my brother the 21st and my Dad the 23rd,needless to say death has been on my mind. Remembering a brother that died at the prime of his life age 26 and my Dad who lived a full life age 86.
    Sad to say I don't remember any of their funerals. Sad to say I was also focusing in remembering the superficial. I will certainly look beyond that and as I pray and meditate for them i will think about those questions. I will also think about those questions for my own obituary. There is a song titled "Live Like That" that precisely talks about how you will be remembered once your gone. Heard it in my ACTS retreat.


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.