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!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Luke 14:1,7-11 Real Humility

Luke 14:1,7-11 Real Humility

At the home of one of the leading Pharisees, Jesus told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table…When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor.  A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man’, and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place…For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

I was worried this Halloween.  I was worried that I would run out of candy.  So on Wednesday afternoon, I went to Albertsons to buy a few more bags of candies just to be safe.  While I was driving, I was thinking to myself, “Let’s see…there are approximately four thousand parishioners here.  We have nearly nine hundred kids in our school…They all know me…I’m gonna need a lot of candy.” 

I bought nearly one hundred dollars worth of candy.  I bought the good stuff:  Kitkats, Reeses, Hersey bars, Hersey kisses, etc…  

I ripped open a few bags and put the chocolates in a large container.  I sat down and waited for the storm to hit. 

6:00 pm:  All quiet.  I thought to myself, “Well, it’s still early.  The kids are having dinner.”  7:00 pm:  Nothing.  I reasoned with myself, “They must be getting ready.”  8:00 pm:  Not a living soul.  I questioned myself, “What is going on?”  I checked the outdoor lights.  9:00 pm:  What the…!!!

Not a single kid showed up at my door.  This coming Monday, I will throw all my candy at them!

I thought I was popular.  I thought I was the only one.  I thought I would get inundated with little hands.  I thought there would be a line at my door.  Instead, I got nothing, no one, not a soul, not even an emergency call!

The Lord said, “When you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’  Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.’”

What a practical tip.  What a helpful hint.  But is it really that?  Is the Lord writing a self-help book full of “techniques” to help his followers to “appear” more humble?  Theoretically (or theatrically) , is it not possible that a very arrogant man could intentionally sit in the back only to be told to come up to the front?  Isn’t seeking attention part of the problem with humility?

The Lord is not offering us some practical tips or helpful hints to be more humble.  The Lord is offering us a humble way of life.  Humility is based on the truth.  And the truth is:  We are nothing without the Lord.

Doesn’t St. Paul sound a bit arrogant in his letters?  In one of them, he writes: “Be imitators of ME for I imitate Christ” (Eph 5:1).  Wow!  Is it humility to equate oneself to Christ?  It is!  But only if you are a saint; that is, if Christ lives and breathes and works through you.  In today’s reading, St. Paul writes:  “That I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit.”  Wow!  Imagine for a moment if I went to your house and told you, “You should feel blessed to have me in your presence!”

Any sane person would throw me out the door.

The secret to humility is not found in any self-improvement book.  Rather, it is found in the person of Jesus Christ. 

The secret to humility is found in TOTAL obedience to God’s Will. 

When a humble man acts on a good decision and it doesn’t work out, he will not resort to breaking all the commandments to get what he wants.  Instead, he will trust that the Lord has an alternate plan for him.  He knows (and accepts) that God’s plan is always the better plan.

It’s not so much what we say or do, but how we live.  That’s what made Saul, Paul and Paul St. Paul.


  1. Not a single kid showed up at my door. This coming Monday, I will throw all my candy at them!- LOL!!!!!!!!! you may hurt a child. Very adorable Father ;)

  2. Father Alfonse,

    Not a single person showed up at my door. Glad I didn't buy a lot of candy. I remembered last year how nobody showed up either.

    At St. Monica we all know what a beautiful gift you have given each and one of us by being a part of our community. We hope that you will be here for a long time. You have also given all of us another beautiful gift by showing us how how important it is that we recognize the importance of having God in our lives. You have shown us kindness, caring and humility.

    God Bless You

  3. If you haven't eaten the Reeses and the rectory's front porch light is on after Mass tomorrow, I'll be happy to deplete some of the chocolate inventory to minimize Monday's casualties!

    On All Hallow's Eve, I showed up at my nephews' house wearing pink with a shoe on my head. Expecting to outsmart them with my costume, imagine my disappointment when one of my nephew's opened the door and unimpressively identified me as a piece of bubblegum. Yet another lesson in humility from the mouth of babes!

    Thanks for the laugh and the spiritual enrichment from your daily meditations.

    1. Count me in, I will also be happy to deplete some of the chocolate inventory!! Father, you can throw candy at me anytime!

  4. In the past ten years or so, very few folks let their children go trick-or-treating. In our neighborhood, most go to church or neighborhood association "trunk-or-treat" parties or carnivals. I forgot to turn off our porch light and was surprised to hear a small group at my door.

  5. Father Alfonse,

    If you have any Reeses Cups, Hershey's or Three Muskeeters save them for me. I'll even reimburse you for them. If you didn't buy any candy the whole world probably would have been at your door.

  6. Father Alfonse,

    I could never throw you out the door. Not somebody like you that has touched so many lives including mine. You are awesome.

  7. God Bless Father. I have been working on humilty

  8. Peace be with you, Father. I have been on a journey of humility for several year. I am still working on this of course, but I know that through praying the rosary & having Our Blessed Mary teach & Bring me closer to Jesus

  9. Maybe they think like I do...."he's a priest, is trick or treating considered something bad and if we knock on his door he'll wonder what is wrong with us?" I have an annual Halloween get together at my home. My siblings and my nieces and nephews stop by to show their costumes, eat a little something fun, and then they trick or treat in our neighborhood. It's become "my thing" for my family. When my oldest son attended a Christian school (let's call it one of those evangelical types) I was made to feel as if my get together was wrong because it was honoring evil. What? My nieces and nephews are all under the age of 6. They are dressed like Buzz Lightyear and Tinkerbell or some Star Wars character. It's just sweet and fun. So, maybe some people have the idea that a priest (no matter how much we like him) will have the same idea so they avoided bugging you. I think humility is a tough one. My one brother and his family didn't come to my party this year...they made other plans. What? Don't I decorate darling? Isn't my cooking amazing and you can't miss the fabulous food? Isn't this MY annual can't miss get together. I think when I learn total humility I'll be far nearer the kingdom of heaven. For now, I'm a work in progress. Maybe God's plan was for you to share your abundance of candy at school!

  10. Isn't that area around St. Monica typically an older neighborhood? I wouldn't think a whole lot of kids would be trick or treating in that area. With all of your ample supply of chocolate confections I'm sure you can stash some in the car to give away on a hospital or home visit. Place a big ol' jar of treats in your office . Place another bucket right outside the confessional. I'm sure a few penitents may want a little "celebration" treat after their sins forgiven. (Oops, well I guess that wouldn't help if the sin was gluttony!). Fill your pant pockets high with candy to give out to the school children. I think it's hilarious you spent so much on candy. Maybe next year make a monetary gift to SVDP instead?;)

    My home was booming with kids! My neighbor hosts a haunted maze that attracts quite a crowd. I went through three huge bags of candy. We probably had close to fifty kids. The costumes were awesome! My dog and I camped out on the porch and had a great time. :)




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