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, December 3, 2012

Mt 8:5-11 A Man Subject To Authority

Mt 8:5-11 A Man Subject To Authority

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”  The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof…”

We all enjoy a great party.  Only a few people enjoy putting it all together.  Christmas is an amazing party.  Advent is all the work that goes into it. 

The “Christmas” season is celebrated by just about everyone, Christians and non-Christians.  But the Advent season is only celebrated by just a few Christians.  We all know why.  It’s hard work…and it has nothing to do with shopping. 

The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.  Many people shall come and say:  “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths”  (Is 2:1-5).

Highest mountain.  Why is the Lord so hard to reach?  Why is He so far above us?  He isn’t.  But when you are stuck in a valley, everything may seem out of reach. 

The mountain of the Lord is high above us because we have sunk far below Him.  We are in a valley of tears.  And when you are in a deep valley, sea level can seem awfully high. 

Let’s face it:  sin destroys us.  It kills us.  It wipes out all our energy, our time, enthusiasm, joy.  It wipes away the beauty of life.  It belittles so much of what we are and what we do:  love, family, children, marriage, Christmas, gifts, etc.  It turns life into a burden.  It tarnishes our incredible dignity.  It diminishes our self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. 

Let’s get to work!  Advent is similar to free climbing.  We need to learn how to defy gravity; that is, to place our feet in the tiniest of spaces and place our hands inside the tiniest of crevices.   We can do it.  We can all do it spiritually.  What free climbers do with a mountain is restricted to those who are already in good health.  But for spiritual free climbers, it is restricted only to sinners.  We can all do it.  How?

Lord, I am not worthy to have you.  The centurion was a Roman.  He was an official.  He was a superior and a soldier.  He was above many men and all the Jews and most likely, above their laws as well.  And yet, he was humble enough to call out to a Jew, the Lord, and ask him to cure his servant.  But not only that!  He was humble enough to tell the Lord of his unworthiness.  WOW!

In no one in Israel have I found such faith.  Do you have this type of faith?  Faith and humility go hand in hand.  They belong to each other.  They are inseparable. 

Nobody likes to be told what to do.  Nobody likes to consider themselves as “unworthy”.  Nobody likes to think that their wealth is irrelevant, or that their power if limited, or that their days are numbered.  Nobody likes to be subject to authority, not even to God’s authority.  And when we sin, we are letting Him know what we think of it. 

So what are you doing to increase your faith?  The Pharisees spoke much about God but did not acknowledge the Son of God.  The Scribes knew Scripture inside and out, and yet, they did not recognize the Lord.  The chief priests were constantly offering up sacrifices to the Lord, but they did not offer themselves up to the Lord.  Only the sinners, the gravest of sinners, I guess, acknowledged their sin and bowed before the Lord and rose above the rest.  Only they arrived at the house of the Lord.

Advent is that time of year to help our faith progress; to remind ourselves that prestige, authority, health and wealth will never be enough to get us to the top of the Lord’s mountain.  Holiness is not against any of these things; it is simply independent of all of these things. 

But with God’s grace and my humility, all things are made possible:  faith, hope and love are made possible.  The Roman centurion possessed incredible faith and hope because he possessed incredible humility; Incredible, if you consider his position, authority, and power. 

Authentic acts of humility are like tiny spaces and crevices in God’s mountain.  These tiny openings, which appear to be useless to the untrained eye, are not.  They are spiritual openings to God’s mercy and compassion, allowing grace to enter into our lives.  They allow us to climb out of our pit and into God’s arms. 

In this first week of Advent, let us focus on humility.  Let’s focus on this little crevice and space that can provide giant leaps towards the house of the Lord.    


  1. Father Alfonse,
    You are absolutely right, everyone gets excited about Christmas.

    This year I am really excited about Advent as well. I am looking so forward to preparing my heart for Jesus this year. I think I am getting it!

    This year has been such a Spiritual growth for me. I just want to climb a mountain and shout it out, especially in those moments when I feel the Spirit just take over! My excitement is so different this year.

    I am excited that you will be coming to my neighborhood parish, St. Michael, to give the presentation on Advent. What a blessing for our community. Although I will only be able to participate one day, I know I will get a lot out of it.

    You talk about crevices here is another perspective…this was given to me by one of my Sisters from ACTS, another inspiration in my life. I am including the first part of the reflection just so you can get the jest of it.

    Coincidentally look at what is written for Dec. 3., Wow God is amazing on how he uses you as his instrument, just amazes me.

    Father Alfonse, thank you for a year of growth and for the inspiration. Thank you for the challenges that arise from your homilies. I wanted to say Thank You personally at Mass on Saturday, your one year anniversary with us but you quickly disappeared, running as always but I understand; you are truly God’s servant, may God allow you to be with us for many more years.
    The following directions show you how to build a spiritual crib in your heart for Christ.
    Use it to put Christ into your Christmas in a real, living way.

    Start on December 1. Read the thought indicated about Christ's first crib. Practice it during the day. Do this daily during December and make your heart a worthy crib for Christ on Christmas Day.
    Frequently during the day offer your heart to the little Infant Jesus. Ask Him to make it His home.
    --Sweet Jesus, take my heart and make it meek and pure.

    DEC.2 - THE ROOF
    See that the roof of the stable is in good condition, so that the Infant Jesus is protected
    from rain and snow. This you will do by carefully avoiding > every uncharitable remark.
    --Jesus, teach me to love my neighbor as myself.

    Carefully stop every crevice in the walls of the stable, so that the wind and cold may not enter
    there. Guard your senses against temptations. Guard especially your ears against sinful conversations.
    --Jesus, help me to keep temptations out of my heart.

  2. But with God’s grace and my humility, all things are made possible: faith, hope and love are made possible.- I love this statement in your beautiful Mediation for today

    God Bless u Father Alfonse :)

  3. Thank you. I needed a good reality check to ensure my priorities are in order as we begin Advent!!!

  4. Thank you so much for beginning our Advent Mission at St. Michael this week. I have enjoyed your stories and can't wait to hear more. I would like the name of the two meditation books you brought with you on Monday and the name of the book from today-Tuesday about Victor Hugo.


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