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, August 29, 2014

Mk 6:17-29 St. John's Heart

Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist
(Click here for readings)

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. ...Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him...She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet... Herodias' own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod...The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish..." She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."

This was today's Gospel passage for our 1st K-5th grade Mass at All Saints.  I couldn't believe it!  I felt horrible for the kids.  What would they think?  What could I say?  How could make this true story relevant for our kids?  Well, here is my homily from today's elementary school Mass. I share it with you because many parents (adults) came up to me after Mass and told me how much they needed to hear this.

John's Head.  St. John the Baptist was beheaded by some very mean people.  Are you a mean person? 

I think the best definition of a mean person is someone who only thinks of themselves or who will do whatever it takes to get what they want.  Are you mean to others?  Do you think only of yourself?  Will you do whatever it takes to get what you want?  I hope not.  But I am worried because all of you have had an entire summer to perfect your fake cries and temper tantrums.  So, the question is:  Have you become a mean person to the people who love you the most? 

Herodias was a very mean person, and she didn't care a nickel about it.  Why would she?  After all, she had lots of power, lots of "friends" and lots of money.  No one, no one in their right mind would even dare to get in her way...except for one brave person:  John the Baptist.  You see, to make a difference in the world, all it takes is for one good person to stand up to tyranny.  And although St. John lost his head.  He never lost his heart.  And his heart inspired countless men and women to rise up and follow Jesus Christ.

Mean people think they can get away with just about anything, including murder!  But they can't, for they too will be judged by God and by their neighbor.

Are you a mean person?  I hope not.

How do you know someone loves you?  One child responded by saying, "If they hug you,"  while another said, "If they put you to sleep at night."  Although I thought these answers were absolutely adorable and true, I continued to play the devil's advocate and told them, "Well, sometimes mean people give you hugs and kisses when they want something from you.  Also, sometimes our parents put us to sleep just to get rid of us (or because they want some peace and quiet). [Lots of laughter!] So...I'm not yet convinced."

Finally, a teacher gave the answer I was looking for:  "By the way they sacrifice for you."  BINGO!  We know someone loves us by the way they sacrifice for us.  Our parents, even our grandparents, would die for us.  I hope you all know this!  And this is what John the Baptist did, and what so many have done after him.  He was willing to lay down his life for his friends and the Lord.

So, how do you know someone loves you?  By the way they sacrifice for you. 

There's a lot of love in our homes, in our school and in our society.  There are a lot of people here who love you.  Now it's your turn to share your love with others.  So make a sacrifice and live your life like Jesus Christ, who showed us just how much he loved us when he laid down his life for us.

This is why you go to All Saints:  to learn how to love and be loved. 


  1. It was a great mass! As a parent that was there it really made for a great discussion at home

  2. Thank you for the homily, Fr. Alfonse. When I asked my 5th grader tonight at the dinner table, she told us about the parents sacrifice but my 1st grader told us about the trap at the store (the candies at the check out isle..:))
    So we used the sacrifice to remind them about sacrifice that the whole family has to make in order for them to go to All Saints!

  3. I feel like this opens another can of worms. How does one define sacrifice? The parent wanting peace and quiet might think they sacrifice plenty by putting food on the table and a roof over their kid's head. I think there's an argument to be made about true sacrifice and false "sacrifice." Yes, risking your life is sacrifice; no, simply parceling out the income you would have earned anyway doesn't really constitute a real sacrifice. Something of oneself, something from within, not just possessions, has to given up to show true love.

    While this still doesn't satisfy the demands of understanding true love, we can come a little closer to our goal. After some pondering, it's a little disheartening to know that we really don't appreciate those who love us, and we give way too much consideration to those mean souls who make life more difficult for everyone.

  4. Fr. Alfonse, I am writing this in a most loving way so please don't get upset... Many of us have been reading your blog since you started and its so nice to hear what the Holy Spirit inspires you, as a priest, to share with your readers. It's our daily homily! Your guest bloggers are good but isn't this supposed to be your daily discipline? I know you are busy...�� I love and appreciate you for all that you do and know you are in my prayers. ��

  5. Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate the comment.

    The blog isn't my daily discipline. My meditation is. The blog was a way of keeping myself accountable to my daily meditation. But writing the meditation out is different from actually doing it.

    Every day I do my daily meditation and I share it at Mass during my homily. But what I have found difficult is to take the time to put it on the blog. But I have also been blessed with many wonderful and gifted writers who have made it their discipline to do a daily meditation. Some of theirs are posted here.

  6. Whoops: Some of their meditations are posted here.


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