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, November 27, 2012

Luke 21:5-11 Preparing For The Unexpected

Luke 21:5-11  Preparing For The Unexpected

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here, the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

One late night, I was working alone and hard on the computer in my office (I think I was the only living soul in the building at the time), when all of a sudden I heard a loud bang on the glass window in front of my desk.  I jumped, scared out of my mind.  I only felt at peace when I could see, behind the window, a couple of kids I knew laughing their heads off.

I learned many lessons that day.  And as a sign of gratitude, I repeat the lesson as often as I can to the kids.  From outside, I will sneak up to one of their class windows and bang on it.  Or, I will walk up to their class door and kick it.  Now, you are probably asking yourself, “What is there to learn from this?”  Oh, my dear friend, so much. 

First, life is full of unexpected events.  This morning I nearly lost my life.  Yes, I nearly lost my life.  You see, for those who do not live in Texas, there is something unusual in Texas called “alleys”.  I never grew up with “alleys”; that is, a special passage way behind homes that is used primarily by garbage trucks to pick up residential trash bins.  In New York, we simply leave our trash out in the front of our home.  But in Texas, we have “alleys”.  This morning, as I was heading to Church, I opened the back gate of my backyard and right before I took my next step out into the alley, a car went past me.  It must have been going at least 40 mph!  I think I was less than twelve inches from certain death.

Life is full of unexpected events and it is important to remind our children of this fact, especially since they live in a world that tries to give the impression that you can plan everything, including the number of children you have (but not how long they live).

Second, the thought of the unexpected can be very scary, especially in the very sanitized world we live in.  We hide the sick in hospitals and the dying in hospices.  That aspect of life can be very scary and unwelcomed.  The prospect of death can be even scarier.  But what is even scarier than life and death is what happens after death:  judgment.

Yes, there is only one thing scarier than death:  judgment.  But it doesn’t have to be, for the face that will stand before me, and judge me, should be an old familiar face, a friendly face, like a child’s face:  Jesus Christ.  But only if I have remained faithful until death!

“The Lord comes to judge the earth” (Psalm 96:13b).  Although the scene may be severe, judgment need not be. 

Death not only brings an end to life as we know it, it also gives meaning to life as we assume it.  It allows us to cash in on God’s mercy and grace.  Judgment need not be scary, just “remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life”. 

This shouldn’t be earth shattering.  Everyone should know this by now.  Just not everyone accepts it.

Earthquakes.  Do you remember how you felt the very first time you were called to the Principal’s office?  Or when you had to give your first public speech?  Were your legs shaking like the earth does during an earthquake?   

The Lord said, “Nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place…” 

Everything the Lord said is not only objectively true for the earthly world but also applicable for the personal – subjective – world as well.  We all know there will come a time when the world is no more.  But I am certain that I will go before the world goes.  When?  I do not know.  But as the world will come to an end, so will my life come to an end.   How often do I experience what the world experiences?  How often do I experience earthquakes; not those movements of tons of earth, but rather those life shattering and leg shaking moments when I feel like my life is fall apart.  That’s not only relative; that’s not only subjective; that’s absolutely real!

How can I get through the unwelcomed and unexpected moments in my life?  By following doctor’s orders. 

What’s the best way to stay healthy?  Last week I wasn’t feeling so well, so I asked a doctor what I should do.  He said to me, “Father, you may not have heard this before (he was being sarcastic), but let me tell you what works better than any medicine that exists today:  Rest, exercise and eat right.”

This shouldn’t be earth shattering.  Everyone should know this by now.  Just not everyone accepts it.

What’s the best way to stay holy?  There are so many options, but here are three:  Forgive and you will be forgiven; love God above all things and your neighbor as Christ loves us; believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.

This shouldn’t be earth shattering.  Everyone should know this by now.  Just not everyone accepts it.   But if you do, then you won’t be frightened of the unwelcomed.  You will accept it as a beautiful end.


  1. Father Alfonse,

    Maybe you should learn from this experience and walk around. We all could use the extra exercise. The alleys are used for vehicles not people. There is a speed limit in alleys and it's not anything above 10 m.p.h. Next time you may not be so lucky. Did you know a vehicle is considered a deadly weapon?

    God Bless You

    1. I definitely did learn a great lesson. But the most important lesson I learned is that you must always be prepared for the unexpected.

  2. I opened the back gate of my backyard and right before I took my next step out into the alley, a car went past me. It must have been going at least 40 mph! I think I was less than twelve inches from certain death.- Oh no! :( Thank God,
    God was protecting over you Father Alfonse :) That is wonderful thing.......:)

    We need you Father Alfonse on this Earth now and for our future :) we can't lose you right noww,lol

    God Bless you my precious Father!

  3. I was not prepared for the unexpected results of a MSNBC survey. This survey reported that 88% of Catholics believe they don't need the Church to make up their minds about our doctrins i.e abortion, definition of marriage, and religous freedom to name a few.
    Have I unexpectedly joined a "liberal" Catholic church? As a convert I find this unexpected reality a real challenge for me to love my Catholic brother or sister if they are one of those progressive Catholics but I will try. I will pray for those progressives that they find the Churches teachings to be the rule, not the exception.

    1. But please keep in mind that this report came from MSNBC. A most liberal news reporting station. I very much doubt this report has truth on its side. Keep your head high and know the truth is and will always be on our side. God and the Word never changes. Endurance is the key! God bless you!


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