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, July 29, 2013

John 11:19-29 Restless Heart

Feast of Saint Martha
(Click here for readings)

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died…”

Over three million young people attended Pope Francis’ closing Mass for World Youth Day on the beaches of Copacabana.   Why so many?  Why so many more than for the Rolling Stones?1  Why?  Because they can’t get no satisfaction.  Not even from the Rolling Stones!

Lazarus was a man, a man made out of flesh and bones.  But that wasn’t good enough for Martha.  Lazarus lived a normal life.  He was conceived, born, and lived a certain number of years.  He did what every good Jewish man did:  he worked during the days and slept at night.  He provided for his family and gave some of his extra to his neighbors.  By any standard he lived a good life.  And yet, it wasn’t good enough for Martha.  In her heart of hearts she knew he was destined for more. 

In my heart of hearts, I know I know that I am destined for more.  I just can’t get no satisfaction. 

She went to meet him.  This time Martha did what Mary should have done.  She left her cocoon and went out to meet the Lord.  Martha is a “restless-heart” type of person.  She needs to know.  She’s not afraid to ask.  She’s ready to confront the one who knows; the only one who can put it all together:  Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Here goes nothing…

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Wow!  Strong words.  Talk about manipulating someone.  Who does she think she is?  Why does she say these words?  I believe it is for only one reason:  so that she can take the last - but in no way the least important - piece of the riddle of life and solve it.  What is life all about?  Why is life worth living?

Mary, on the other hand, may have been at peace with it all.  This is the way things are.  We must come to accept it.  We live.  We grow.  We procreate.  We die.  Where is the riddle?  This is what life is all about.  All the pieces in the puzzle have a purpose, but the puzzle doesn’t.

Martha knew a lot of dead people.  She knew they don’t rise from the dead.  She didn’t fear the dead.  She didn’t fear her brother Lazarus.  She feared the Lord.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  Or better yet, “The fear of the unknown is the beginning of belief.” 

A risk worth taking.  What is there to lose?  What is there to gain?  As the saying goes:  If fear knocks on the door, let faith go and open it.

Jesus said to Martha, “Your brother will rise.”  The conversation could have ended there and nothing more would have been said.  In fact, Martha accepted the Biblical understanding of the resurrection on the last day:  “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”

But Jesus didn’t end the conversation there.  He went one gigantic step forward for mankind:  “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

Going to the moon and coming back is nothing compared to dying and coming back to life!

The Lord is not interested in bringing dead people back to life on earth.  He is interested in bringing the living to belief.  I believe we are too.  I want to believe more than I want to live.

Martha too was interested not so much in seeing her brother live again (only to die again).  She was interested in knowing why she/he lived in the first place!

Before Martha saw her brother rise, she made a confession of faith:  “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

Puzzle solved.  Problems resolved.  Faith renewed.  Life restored. 


  1. Our Lord works in such mysterious ways. How amazing when the Gospel passage of the day ties in with some aspect of personal life......

    Oh, Father Alfonse -- This morning I woke up to read your Sunday post. I noticed a very favorable comment from a William. Later on while driving to work, I was sitting at a stop light. I checked my cell phone and noticed a text message from my co-worker: "William" from our shipping department passed away from a heart attack over the weekend. He was in his early 40s with a wife and family. I was shocked. I couldn't believe when I arrived at work he'd no longer be around.

    I thought to myself, "How uncanny I read the comment from a 'William' on Father's blog, a man I do not know, and then discover the William I do know has died." Let's just say I was a little freaked by such a God-instance.

    I mourn William's passing just as the Gospel spoke about Martha and Mary mourning Lazarus' death. Let's just say it's been a very melancholy day overall, but I know William is at eternal peace with Our Lord in heaven.



  2. I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Father we have all read this in our bibles, and most likely heard many sermons on the subject. I was 16 when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, that was 45 years ago. Now at age 61 I have come to realize how much of our lives we miss it. We don't make the connection, and even if we do, we let it slip away until some deep felt situation arises to remind us of the true meaning behind the above referenced scripture. I am still struggling and my heart is still broken over the death of my husband. Is it possible I wonder to ever stop wanting what can not be. Martha loved Lazarus, she only wanted him back because her heart was broken. I don't think she was trying to manipulate the Lord. I think that until then the death of others didn't penetrate her heart as deeply. It was so deep for Lazarus the pain was off the charts, never before had she felt like she would never get over it, it tortured her very soul, and torture is seemingly unbearable.

    I got it, a person can have a deep belief in God and heaven and what is waiting for us, and at the same time be broken and tortured by the loss of someone they love more then life itself. It has been 1 1/2 yrs for me, and as much as I believe, the pain is at times more then my tortured soul can bare. I pry all the time that I could dream about my husband. To visit him in a dream would feel so comforting. So far that has not happened except for once and all he said to me was Chrissy are you afraid to see me, and I said no, I'll never be afraid of you, I love you.

    It's hard to know what Martha thought when she spoke to Jesus. I believe she is very blessed to have lived at a time when she could speak to Jesus directly, in human form. I wish I could feel the Lord hug me. We women are more needy of that type of comfort from a loving man, the world is a scarier place for women and always has been.

  3. I have been reading a book on the saints. The common thread running through most of their stories is how they accepted the will of God. One story tells of a monk who was admired as a humble and holy man. As he grew in age, his brothers realized that he never had a bad day. The monk said that even after their monastery was robbed & their barn was burned down that he went to bed that night thanking God for his circumstances. “If God allowed this to happen to us, I am thankful that His will is done. It is still wrong for the perpetrators to have done such a thing, but the consequences of their actions were to be placed on us. God permitted it. God loves us so much; we must trust Him for our own good.”

    Doesn’t God reveal His will for us by our circumstances? Isn’t this why it is so hard to conform to His will because we can’t see what He sees for us? If God is Love and I believe this to be true, I must trust in everything that happens to me and others…especially the sad, horrible, evil things that happen to innocent people, that somehow, someway, in God’s economy it had to happen as it did. I just don’t have God’s eyes to see why.

    Life is not done to us, it is done for us.

    Christina, you are in my prayers.

    1. Thank you Anonymous for offering up prayers. I appreciate it that a total stranger would put me in prayer to our blessed Lord. My story is not unique, millions of men and women have lost their spouse. I believe that my husband is with the Lord in his grace and mercy. He was a wonderful soft spoken gentle giant of a man. We truly loved one another. Near the end of his life (he was very ill for 4 years) he was visited by an angel or perhaps it was the holy ghost, it was 6:00am and I had just gone to bed, when I felt a vibration in the room. I thought it was a small Calif earthquake, I remember thinking if this gets stronger how am I going to protect him (he was beside me in a hospital bed in our bedroom). I felt a swaying motion back and forth and up and down. That was odd so I opened my eyes, and that is when I saw the angel/holy ghost standing at the foot of Jim's bed. The light from his garment illuminated the room, he was not on the ground but slightly above it. He was blessing Jim with extended arm just like a priest does. I closed my eyes immediately figuring I wasn't supposed to see this, it was Jim's blessing not mine and I didn't want to ruin it by seeing something I shouldn't. Strange what the mind tells you to do in a situation that is unfamiliar. The vibration grew, got more intense and I felt fear as I laid there with my eyes closed. The angel/holy ghost touched my finger tips and said to me "I remember you, this isn't your time, I'm not here for you now". All my fear vanished immediately and I prayer "your will be done Lord, your will be done".

      I will never forget one moment of this blessed event, and for the most part it brings me great comfort. Then there is the selfish part of me that simply truly misses him so much that I feel I want only to join Jim in God's loving grace and mercy.

      My life like so many others was dysfunctional until I was 38 and met my sweetheart. We had 22 wonderful years together, we promised to love one another forever and ever, not just til death do us part.

      I walk in the land of the living, but I live in the land of the grieving. Please pray for me, it is beyond bearable at times. I am lost here, not lost in a spiritual sense, but lost in a day to day living kind of way.

  4. Dear Christina,

    So why do you think you are here? What do you think you can do to help others get through their loss?

    A friend of mine once told me that if I put my mind and thoughts on loving the person in front of me as they want to be loved, that I would not be able to think about my pain, my loss. I was amazed at how this worked! You can think of Jim helping you to love others here on earth and this would be the truth!

    Sharing others' sorrows divides the sorrows.
    Sharing others' joy multiples the joys.

    I continue to pray for you.

    1. Christina,

      Just as I re-read my words, it sounds like everything is peachy with me, and I can just love my neighbor without thinking of my own pain. That is not how it was suppose to come out. But it did.

      Life is never that easy!!! Never!

      No one's words will get you through this pain. People can be there for you, listen to you and try to relate. Those are your real friends. But if they haven't gone through what you have, there are no words of comfort that can be given. It will seem that nothing can soothe your hurts.

      I have recently found this out. My friend won’t even meet with me or answer my phone calls / emails. My words mean nothing and are more damaging than helpful. I do not even know what this friend thinks! Only my unanswered prayers will have to do. Christina, I hope you don’t take my words the wrong way.


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