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, November 30, 2012

Mt 4:18-22 Come After Me

Mt 4:18-22  Come After Me

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother, Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. 

A few days ago I celebrated Mass for some Middle School kids.  I felt so sorry for them.  They looked so sad, so very sad.  Poor children.   Poor babies.  If they only knew.  If they only knew that they were living the easiest years of their life; and that over time, the drama of life only gets tougher and much more difficult to understand.  Unfortunately, most of them have been inoculated by a shot or a pill to this bitter fact of life.

Ah, who will break it to them? For goodness sake, who will tell them the truth???  Who will challenge them for God’s sake?  Who will burst their little bubble; the one just big enough to cover their sacred head?  Better yet, to suffocate their sacredness?

I can’t take it anymore!  I can’t stand watching these self-absorbed children suffer as they do.  No wonder the Lord told the little children, “Come to me, all you who labor and I will give you rest!”  Oh, how they suffer!  They wake up in the morning without a care in the world.  They go to school and know not why or what to do.  They have so much to cover and so little time.  When they do muster enough courage to ask a question, they typically ask what should never be asked.  For example, “Will this be on the test tomorrow?”  

How can anyone fail in life?  This is one of the greatest tragedies I have witnessed as a priest.  I have seen far too many kids get straight A’s in school only to later fail in life.  Nothing in the universe can do that.  Only man can do that.  Only man can fail at being a man.  No one else has that option.  Animals do not fail at being who they are, but man can fail at being who he is by being something he was never meant to be.  Only man can fail at being a Saint. 

I think I know why.  I think I know how it all began.  It began the day they began going through the motions. 

People go through the motions for various reasons:  to be cautious, to fit in, to be comfortable.  But the real reason why we go through the motions is so that we can avoid asking the tough questions.  For example:  “What am I doing here?” or “What am I supposed to do with my life?” 

We are all philosophers.  We are!  We were born not only to run free but to run questions freely through our mind.  It’s in our blood!  It’s in our soul.  We were made to ask questions.  We all philosophize.  Even infants philosophize when they ask, “What dat?” One of my favorite, as a teenager, was “Why?” It remains a favorite among teens even to this day!  And the only reason why we go through a midlife crisis is because we ask the question:  “What have I done with my life?” 

As challenging as questions may be, they are not the source of our problems.  They are the first steps to solving our problems.  Questions are never bad.  It’s the answers that some people give that cause the problems!  And it is the answers we give to our children’s questions that are causing all their problems.  They are horribly efficient.  For example:  “Because I told you so” is a very efficient answer, but it is not the best answer.  “That’s the way it is” is another one.  “This will help make your life more comfortable.”  But is a comfortable life what anyone really seeks in their life?  Is the purpose of school to make our life more comfortable...or more meaningful?

How pathetic!  How pathetic it is to just be efficient.  It is as pathetic as living life by going through the motions.  It’s like having e-mail so that you can write more e-mails or wearing clothes so that you can buy more clothes.  Being efficient is as romantic as writing an e-mail; it’s as tasty as plain yogurt; it’s as beautiful as cubicles; it’s as inspiring as an assembly line.

No wonder why our kids are failing in life.  It’s clear to all that they are not lacking in things, but in meaningful things; that is, questions, and honest answers to their questions.  But what is lacking most, what strips the smile off a child's face is the lack of purpose to their life.  So their life becomes more of a chore rather than an adventure.  It is no longer full of surprises; it has been scheduled to the minutest detail.  It is no longer to be discovered.  It is to be researched. 

Come to me all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.  

Come after me.  Today is the feast day of St. Andrew.  He was going through the motions, just like his ancestors had taught him to do.  He was mending his fishing net when, surprisingly, the Lord invited him to chase after him and be a fisher of men.  He got up and left behind everything and everyone.  All that he knew and all that he expected to follow the Lord.  He must have been asking himself some pretty tough questions for a while.  Maybe he was just waiting for the right answers. 

Christ is the answer to going through the motions.  The Lord is personally inviting us to chase after him; to come after him. 

Who am I?  Another Christ.  What am I here for?  To live and die for someone meaningful.  Well, there’s nothing more meaningful to life than to live and die for the One who is, who was, and who is to come.


  1. That was beautiful and well put. It is the same thing I have been thinking about lately. I am called to something more meaningful and I am finally listening and finding that meaning. Praise God.

  2. This is another great meditation that really resonates, Father.
    Anyone have good ideas of altruistic things a dad can do with his pre-teen son?

  3. They looked so sad, so very sad. Poor children. Poor babies- I see what you mean Father and strongly agree with you. I do admit I have it bad in life me "myself .

    But my children??

    I wish I could just keep them at home and PROTECT them forever .....:(

    I know that is self for me to say :(

    I just pray for my babies as days go by :)

    God Bless you My Father

  4. Father Alfonse,

    We can't protect our children forever. We all make mistakes in our life. That's how we learn and grow. When the parents are no longer here what happens to the child that has been constantly protected. It's too bad that some children feel their friends know more than their parents. We can tell our children over and over again about saying "no" to drugs and about the proper time to have children. It's not in highschool or before we marry. Our daughter has told us were stupid to feel that way about when children should be born. She said it's okay to have children in highschool and it's real common and we must get a life. She is now faced with two children, dropping out of school very early and having to work two jobs to support her boyfriend that refushes to work and their two children. In our parenting class they said that by the time a child is thirteen you tell them one time and don't keep harping on the situation because then they block you out. We pray for our children that God will give them the guidance to put their life in a more appropriate way. We hope that we'll see her come back into the Catholic Church and complete her schooling and realize that she needs to turn her life around.

  5. Father Alfonse,

    As parents we worry about our children and some decisions they make. We can't protect them forever. We can only give them the guidance and instruction to make more appropriate decisions. If we tell them over and over again it's almost like we are harping on it. They learn to block you out after awhile. We've even seen it over and over again where children pay more attention to their friends and think their parents are stupid and antiquated. With our child she chose to ignore what we told her about having value and structure in her life and that was all ignored when she dropped out of school. At seventeen, she had one child and now has two all before age nineteen. Also, we believe in having atleast four years of college and having children within the banns of marriage. Her boyfriend whose the father of both of her children refushes to get a job and financially support the children. She works two jobs and he's not good as far as parenting. What we've seen is he's still busy being a child. We've told her about programs that would help with babysitting and that she needs to ask him to leave. We've told her that he has a right to see his children but he doesn't have the right to live free off our daughter and not pay child support

  6. I have read this meditation over and again. It's good. Really good.

    It is amazing how we divide ourselves from one another - The Body of Christ - over issues of reading a passage as literal or metaphors or none of the above! I can get so confused and upset over something someone said that was not intended in the way I interpreted it! It’s the same thing over and again. It’s the story of my life lately!! It’s all doubt. Nothing else. But how can you convince someone you cannot talk to?

    The readings today were all about doubt. I go back and forth as to what I should do, what I should say, where I am to go with this situation? Many people I know want to speak directly to a situation, put it all on the table and sort it all out. I can’t always go there!! Just let the past go and don’t speak of it anymore. Ever! (Well, maybe in 10 years.) But move on with the present life. Talk about the future. It’s a waste of time to conjure up so many thoughts of fear or guilt of the past. I want to move forward in Christ. I want to consider everyone’s place of where they are but it’s usually the same challenge. I have begged Jesus for the answer, what is the Will of God?

    After Communion today, I understood that I will not allow the devil to deceive me. I think the one thing that will make him happy is if I fail - fail to relate, fail to talk, fail to love. At the end of my life I know God will ask me, “When did you love?” I want to be able to tell Him, honestly, that I did my part in trying. It doesn’t have to work out as I want, but I have to try - all for the glory of God.


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