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, March 21, 2014

Gen. 37:3--28 Are You Being Driven By Fairness?

Friday of the Second Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)

Israel Loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long tunic.  When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.

God is so unfair!  In most of the Old Testament, God is very fair:  an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.  That's pretty fair.  And that's as close as we can get to justice. 

But the story of Joseph and his brothers is one of a handful of stories in the Old Testament that are not fair at all, at least not in the way Joseph handles it.  

What drives you mad?    Joseph's brothers were driven to madness out of jealousy and envy of him.  They couldn't stand the fact that their kid brother was loved the most by their father and that he was a man on a mission, with goals and lofty dreams.  Their madness turned to sarcasm, "Here comes that master dreamer!"  

What is driving you mad?  What is occupying more and more of your heart each day?  Is it jealousy?  Envy?  Greed?  Be careful.  These things can easily consume your mind, body and soul.  If these things have taken over your life, then it is time to go and make a good confession. 

Now some of the finer details contained in this story may seem a bit foreign to us.  For example:  cisterns, Ishmaelites and twenty pieces of silver.  But the story in its substance rings all too familiar for me as a priest.  Far too many family members are currently in a feud among themselves, and far too many children hate their siblings and wish they would die!  Often, the responses among family members are far too, well, just...and like I said before, justice may be fair, but it isn't inspiring or beautiful.  It is simply "there."

Joseph remained silent.  While being viciously beaten and attacked by his brothers, Joseph would have been in the right to have cussed out his brothers.  It would have been completely understandable if he held anger, bitterness and resentment towards them for the rest of his life.  And after having been dumped into a dry cistern to die, it would have been fair of him to seek God's wrath upon them or promise sweet revenge. 

But he didn't.  He didn't do any of it.  And that was surprising to me.  It was also totally unfair of him.

His strong faith in God enabled him to bit his tongue.  His love for God enabled him to show forgiveness, compassion and mercy on his brothers.    

Now don't think for a moment that Joseph knew how his story was going to end.  He didn't.  He didn't have a clue what was going to happen next.  He simply placed his life in God's hands. 

So why did the Church, in all her wisdom, consider it unwise to read the entire story today? Why did it leave out Joseph's triumph and his unforgettable forgiveness?  Why did it end with Joseph being sold for twenty silver pieces (does this sound familiar???).  Why can't we savor the moment Joseph reveals himself to his starving brothers?  Why are we left with only half his story, the most bitter half?

I think it is because this is how life is.  It never comes all at once.  Rather, we must live it one chapter at a time - one day at a time - and never quite sure how it will all come together in the end. 

This is where faith comes in.  This is where love must come in.   

How do you respond to trials and tribulations?  With faith or with sin?  How do you respond to evil and hatred?  Fairly or unfairly?

Are you allowing God to write your own story or are you forcing his hand?

Are you falling into temptation?  Given today's scriptural readings, I think we can safely say that falling into temptation means rewriting God's ending to our story.  Of course we must do everything in our power to defeat evil.  But fighting evil with evil is forcing God's hand. 

Heavenly Father, this Lent I ask you for the grace to be driven by your love and to be driven to your forgiveness.  Amen.


  1. Dear Farther Alfonse,
    You are a truly God gift to the community and to me. I had enjoy ever much listen to you deliver God's words to us on two days at St. Paul. Please keep me in your prayer as I will always pray for you and our Church.

  2. Just BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!


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