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!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Luke 10:38-42 Are You Passionate for the Truth?

Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.  She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.  Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?”
This morning I had some additional thoughts to today’s Gospel passage.  I thought I would I write them down and share them with you.
Jealous for attention.  Was Martha just a little jealous for some attention?  Did she stab her sister in the back so that she could get some recognition?  I don’t know about you, but I do get a little annoyed when I’m doing a lot of work and no one seems to notice!
I think Martha may have been seeking some sort of recognition.  But the Lord did not offer it to her.  There may have been a reason for it.
Comfortable in what we know.  When I read this Gospel passage, I was reminded of some very unfortunate people I had met; people who were stuck in their old ways.  You may be surprised who they are.  They are the so-called “open-minded.”  But they are not.  If anything, they are very “one-sided.”  They reject the teachings of the Church simply because they are the teachings of the Church.  They reject all religions because they have rejected the reality of God.  They claim to have studied their faith “inside out” before rejecting their faith.  But the problem with this assertion is that they never really learned their faith, or if they did, they learned it as children, and with the mind of a child, and never bothered to look back at it as adults, and with the mind of an adult.     
Martha was serving while Mary was listening.  Maybe Martha thought to herself, “I know all of this stuff.  I learned it in CJD (Confraternity of Jewish Doctrine).  My mom used to read the bible to me.  I used to serve as an alter girl.  I learned it while I attended private Jewish school!” 
I remember a young man who came to me, at the insistence of his father, to talk to me about Catholicism.  He had “grown up” Catholic, but while he was in College he left the Catholic faith.  I asked him what led him to do such a thing.  “Well, I disagree with the teachings of the Church.”  
“Which ones?” I replied…“Love your enemies?  Do good to those who harm you?  Forgive seven times seventy times?” 
“Oh no, not those,” he said.  And then he proceeded to list his one complaint.
“Really,” I replied, “and what articles or books did you read from Catholics to help explain the Church’s position on that issue?” 
“Well, uh…none.”
“Oh, I see.   How quickly your passion for the truth ended.”
He learned his faith as a child, but he never learned it as an adult.  Now that’s one-sided; or better yet, lopsided.  He reminds me of Martha.
Martha felt comfortable in what she had learned as a child, but she never bothered to cross-examine it with the teachings of Christ.  She was content in what she knew.  A lot of people are like Martha.  But there is a big difference in knowing something (or someone) and knowing something (or someone) well.  Most closed minded people don’t seem to get that.
This is what I love about some people who disagree with me.  They think I don’t know what they believe in.  They think their arguments are air proof.  Of course they are, if you don’t let any fresh air in! 
Mary was open to learning more about the same things she learned as a child.  This isn’t an easy thing to do.  It requires a passion for the truth and a willingness to experience some uneasiness and discomfort in search of it.  When we study our faith as religiously as studying those who attack it, we may find ourselves going back to where we never intended to return:  to God. 
Not only was this young man ignorant of his faith, but he never knew that his “new” ideas were actually recycled materials from the past.   
As I priest, I have run into a fair number of these people.  They tend to get up and to leave when people begin to disagree with them; they tend to walk out during sermons when they don’t want to hear something; they tend to defend themselves by labeling others as extremists or fundamentalists.  But in reality, it is simply a cover for having no arguments at all.  None whatsoever.
Let’s learn from Mary.  Let’s listen to the Lord through prayer and Scripture; from those who have gone before us; and even from those who attack us. 
What does it take?  A sincere passion for the truth. 


  1. Bingo, Father Alfonse!! I was thinking the same thing about Martha feeling jealous for attention! Back then women were expected to serve the men - cook, clean, rear the children, etc. She was going about her business as the culture of the time dictated. Seeing a woman sitting around "chatting" with Jesus probably inflamed her.....What if she wasn't so jealous? Maybe she'd pray silently as she went about her duties. She'd be highly honored to prepare a meal for Jesus all by herself without complaint. Perhaps she'd even ask Mary, "What did Jesus talk to you about today? I want to hear all the details. He's such a wonderful teacher!"

    Martha in CJD class & attending a private Jewish school....LOL! Very creative! :)



    P.S. I just began reading Pope Francis' "Lumen Fidei" encyclical. Absolutely brilliant! Highly recommended. A whole chapter is devoted to the correlation between faith and truth.

  2. “Comfortable in what we know. …I was reminded of some very unfortunate people I had met; people who were stuck in their old ways. … If anything, they are very “one-sided.” …

    If we are really honest with ourselves, we are all one-sided. Our views, beliefs are all based on our past experiences and memories of what we have learned from our relationships - past and present. We are blowing hot air when we try to convince another person that my views are ‘more truthful’ than yours. All we are saying is that our experiences are better than yours...pride comes to mind. In my view, some sort of connection / relationship has to occur (love) before my words will be heard. It’s not important what I say – it’s important what is heard. God made us so that we can feel safe with another person before we trust what they say.

    “But the problem with this assertion is that they never really learned their faith, or if they did, they learned it as children, and with the mind of a child, and never bothered to look back at it as adults, and with the mind of an adult.” I agree.

    You said in one of your meditations that Christians ‘choose’ their faith. This is true only for the ones who are aware of that decision. Socrates: "The unexamined life is not worth living". For me, this is “Passion for the Truth”.

    How many ‘good Catholics’ I know that do not even recognize ‘why’ we were born! Their view of a Catholic life is avoidance of sin, trying to be ‘good’ and recruiting other Catholics. They, as other secularists, other Muslims, other Hindus, other Christians continue to live for the weekends so that they can ‘live’ the life they really want: the good, holy and challenging desires that God planted in their DNA (if they even recognize that!). But they become deflated on Monday mornings because they ‘have’ to live another life- the life that brings in their paycheck. We live a double life if we can’t figure out how to bring these two concepts together. God gives us the answers: to become whole - just like Him. There is a reason why the vast majority of heart attacks occur on Monday mornings! God is continuous talking to us. We just are not listening. It's what you've said before - couples complement each other. I see my weaknesses in another's strengths. Once I become aware of this, I can do something about it. Change!

    I do not understand how we can say Catholics are better than other people. I do believe I have the fullness of faith in my Catholic beliefs. But I have seen with my own eyes, people of other faiths that are LIVING “the true Catholic faith”. We are all one-sided until we examine our own lives.

  3. If we are really honest, we are all one-sided. I hate to disagree with you, but I would say that we are not all one-sided, especially the Catholic Faith and those who observe it well. If anything, our faith and Church knows how to balance truth with love; sinner with compassion; enemy with forgiveness; it is very much two sided, even at its own detriment, like that of the two sides of a cheek. The Church, as well as the faithful, take a beating on both sides of their cheeks...even more so after they have examined their lives.


    Also, you say you know "good Catholics" who do not recognize why they were born. So the two go together? So bad Catholics are those that do recognize why they were born? Really? Please, explain to me. Sorry, I really don't understand what you are trying to say and the point of what you are saying.

  4. I don’t think you hate to disagree with me but that is beside the point :) 
    “….especially the Catholic Faith and those who observe it well”. – that would only be the saints, my friend.
    “…our faith and Church knows how to balance truth with love; sinner with compassion; enemy with forgiveness; it is very much two sided, even at its own detriment, like that of the two sides of a cheek…”
    Your very response only proves my point. I'll re-read yesterdays meditation.
    When we use google or bing to find our ‘favorite’ websites, blogs, or interests, do you not think our computers are continuously programmed to show us other sites that ‘might be of interest’ to us? Google has figured out how our human brain works and provides us with our ‘one-sidedness’ which only helps us to be more one-sided! And we love it! It proves us right!

    When we can become humble enough to say “Let me hear your side of the story; what makes you think the way you do?", we will see a whole other side that we never knew was there.

    Wouldn’t it be great if google prompted us to other morally good sites that promoted other view points?

    Response to your 2nd comment: Father, you are way too logical. If you would start thinking a little more irrational, you would see my point. (For instance, forgiveness is the most irrational and selfish thing we can do! But I digress.)
    We Catholics tend to put all peoples in categories usually with our first impression. Good, not so good, bad, not so bad, very bad, horrid. We say that someone is a good Catholic because they put their children in Catholic school (just one example), “That must be important to them.” So by their example, we try to follow suit; we think that’s what good Catholics do. Now we think we are all fine, so we don’t need to do anything more! We show others and ourselves that we are “good” only because we are checking off the list of what good Catholics do. (I am going to extremes on this example but you get the gist of it.) But just because we are Catholic doesn’t make us good or holy or whole. That is the only point I was trying to make in saying ‘good’ Catholics. We have met status quoi! I’m done!

    Life, religion, God, relationships are for me, more about becoming who God meant us to be, another Christ – regardless of our faith – or maybe exactly because of our faith! He put inside each one of us, something that only we can give this world, in this time, in this place – wherever we are. (OMG, maybe the bad Catholics do indeed know why they are born more than the good ones - God only knows!)

    If all people of all faiths tried to live the golden rule with each other, we would indeed become whole, holy persons. My faults become a way for my husband to endure in patience and love and the same for me. That is why there is no marriage in heaven. He has only helped me on this earth to become whole, holy. Just like my neighbor becomes my way to sanctity. But in heaven, we will all be single, whole, holy beings. My only attachment will be to God. This is a saint I desire to be.

  5. I wasn't talking about politics.


Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.