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!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

John 5:31-47 Pope Francis The Humble!

Jesus said to the Jews:  “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.  But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.”
 “Habemus Papam!”  A few minutes ago we didn’t have a pope.  Now, we have a pope: Pope Francis I.  His former name was Jorge Mario Bergoglio. 
Pope Francis I comes from Argentina.  He comes from a not-so-wealthy country.  His reputation is impeccable.  He is a humble yet tenacious man.  He routinely stands up to politicians, especially the corrupt ones.  He enjoys living among the poor.  He commutes to work like the poor do, using public transportation. Long ago he refused to live in the mansion reserved for the Archbishop of Buenos Aries.  Long ago he refused to have a chef.  Now, this humble man will be living in the papal apartment.  Nothing more and nothing less.   
"I do not accept human praise."  By all accounts, we have a Pope who is not only an intellectual giant (he is a Jesuit), but also a very simple, humble and Christ loving man who has devoted his entire adult life to serving the poor, the faithful and reaching out to all people of good will.  This is the reason why he took the name Francis.  He loves the broken hearted.  He will be known as Pope Francis the Humble.
We are living in amazing times!  Pray hard!
“I think but I am not.”  Forgive me for playing around with the famous expression “I think therefore I am” from the French philosopher Rene Descartes.  Just yesterday I read in the newspapers how one Vatican expert was complaining that South America was grossly underrepresented in the Conclave.  Well, in the words of Jesus Christ: “Get behind me, Satan!  You think not like God but like men!”  You know what?  Now that I think about it, I guess Jesus played around with Rene Descartes’ expression long before I ever did.    
The experts predicted that the conclave would take much longer than usual.  After all, “the Cardinals need time to get to know each other and do some political maneuvering.”  The famous Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, reported that those closest to the Cardinals predicted that by Thursday morning we would have a new pope.  They thought…and they were wrong!
I found it utterly amusing how all the analysts were dead silent the moment his name was announced from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.  No one knew what to say!  No one knew who this man was!  No one ever predicted that it would be Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio! 
If you recall, every name had been mentioned:  Cardinal Angelo Scola, an Italian favorite; Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer, a favorite among Vatican-based insiders; Even American Cardinals Dolan and O’Malley were considered possible (although unlikely) candidates.  We even had a Canadian!  I think… but I am not! 
Where did all these opinions and insider information come from?  Well, according to the newspapers, it came from…The Cardinals!!!  They must have been thinking too much and not praying enough. 

But all of that changed when they entered the Sistine Chapel, celebrated Mass, invoked the Holy Spirit and cast their ballot saying, "I call as my witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who before God I think should be elected." 

Only one Cardinal, prior to the conclave, seemed to have been right all along.  Cardinal Errazuriz, from Chile, said that the key isn’t so much where the next pope comes from, but what he brings to the papacy.  “Cardinals are looking for a pope who is close to God, has love for people, the poorest, the ability to preach the Gospel to the world and understand the young and bring them closer to God.  These are the categories that count.”   
Well said.  Well said.  But what he was really saying is:  “I pray, therefore I am.”  I AM is the name of God.  When we pray, we unite our lives to Life itself, and we find ourselves in the presence of light, life and truth.
Resolution:  Let us pray today for our Holy Father, Pope Francis I.


  1. I watched and read many Catholic and non-catholic news reports today. I found it most interest that ALL of them focused on his humility and love for the poor, but what I think is the most noteworthy is to think that out of great humilty comes great grace and talent, and that is more important to our church right now so that Pope Francis can "rebuild my church' with strength and grace through his humble answer to God's great call.

  2. Father Alfonse,

    “Habemus Papam!”
    I heard earlier in the Guadalupe Radio station that he is Pope Francis not Pope Francis I, how correct is this? When they announced our new Pope they announced him as Pope Francis. Dare I ask does it matter, I am thinking it does.

    "I do not accept human praise."
    Thought…how am I relating this beautiful event to my life today? I can’t help but relate it to the Lenten Mission talks we just had. You mentioned three goals
    1. Who am I---this is based on decisions you make. How do you live your life?
    2. Who is God---Am I another Jesus Christ? Am I a follower of Jesus Christ? Do I love?
    3. Merge the gap—what am I here for? …to be Holy to be a Saint. I am here to Love.
    Pope Francis is a great example of what we just learned! He has lived his life in a humble way. He has loved as Jesus did…the poor and the sick and having been selected Pope certainly is the right direction to becoming Holy or a Saint!

    “I think but I am not.”
    “Just yesterday I read in the newspapers how one Vatican expert was complaining that South America was grossly underrepresented in the Conclave. “
    I thought this was humorous when you said it in mass today. I remember one day when we were talking about parenting and I told you that my English parenting classes were always empty vs. my Spanish classes which were always full. You replied something like …it’s okay your people are going to take over or you all are taking over…can’t remember the exact words, well Father I think Pope Francis just sealed the deal :) My people will be known universally. Several months ago someone posted on facebook that we were losing many Catholics, especially in South America! Wow, if this is not divine providence then I don’t know what is. God is an awesome God!

    Surprised is putting it mildly more like, as you would say “shock and awe”, when they announced Pope Francis. As I contemplated how this could have happened I realized that God certainly has a sense of humor. I love it! He did it to us again… If I remember correctly, the Jewish people were expecting the Messiah to be a King that would come with power and might yet we got Baby Jesus. Before Jesus was crucified he entered Jerusalem in a humble way, on a donkey, representing peace! The “Princes”, as the Cardinals were called, were expecting to elect a King, by this I mean someone who was well known, but the Holy Spirit led them to a humble, peaceful man. You couldn’t have chosen a better scripture passage, “Get behind me, Satan! You think not like God but like men!”

    Finally, “I pray, therefore I am.” I AM is the name of God. When we pray, we unite our lives to Life itself, and we find ourselves in the presence of light, life and truth.
    This is the first time that I have really paid attention to the selection of a Pope. No one can deny that all eyes were on us and when the announcement of Pope Francis was made everyone rejoiced, but the true miracle for me was how we all came together and prayed in unity for our future Pope. How Pope Francis asked us to pray for him; when he bowed before us sinners to give him our Blessing! Our mass is complete; we now have a name to include in the Eucharistic Prayer. I have never been so proud to be a Catholic! Que Viva el Papa!

  3. Fr. Alfonse, the second I heard the description of Pope Francis, I turned to my kids and reminded them of your homily from a couple of weeks ago about being more humble. They actually remembered your words. Wow! Praise the Lord. Que Dios bendiga, Fr.
    Que Viva El Papa!


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