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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lk 9:51-56 Guts and Glory. Lamb Tough.

Memorial of St. Jerome
(Click here for readings)

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem... On the way they entered a Samaritan village...but they did not welcome him...  When the disciples...saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them...

Perish the day.  Are you having a bad day?  Are you ready to give up?  Then you're having a day like Job. 

"Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, 'The child is a boy!  Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?" [In other words, 'Why couldn't we have done away with this "life" thing and just get it over with immediately!] (Job 3:1-3,11).

The Book of Job is an inspired-by-God Jewish attempt at answering one of life's most challenging questions: "Why do good people suffer?"  Atheists have answered the question with their astonishing over-confidence:  "Because God does not exist."  That's it!  Problem solved.  Now have a nice day.

But life, death, pain, suffering, joy and sacrifice are so much more deeper than what eye can see and ear can hear.

The answer to the problem of pain and suffering is made even more complicated by those who believe in Jesus Christ; that is, for Christians who believe that God is all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful. 

[Now if we only got rid of one of these three attributes, then our problem with God would be resolved. For example:  If God were not all-knowing, then we could say that He created us and took off running, just like a Father who abandons his family.  On the other hand, if God were not all-loving, then we could say He knows what's going on and He could do something about it, but He doesn't care.  Finally, if we said God were not all-powerful, then we could say He knows what's going on and He loves us, but He can't do anything about it.  There it is, problem solved!

But amazingly enough, the Jews (as well as the Christians) never abandoned their understanding of God, even with all the pain and suffering they went through.  They always maintained that God was good God, an all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful God, even through their blood, tears and sweat.

You gotta give it to them for sticking to their beliefs.  All I can say is they help me to be a little braver in the face of tribulations!

Now Job's friends tried to give him a logical reason for all his woes. They said to him what most people only think:  "Wow!  You must have done something wrong to deserve this!"  But Job wouldn't have any of it.  He answered His friends and asked them to leave him alone. To not be outdone by Job, even God wouldn't have any of it.  In fact, He declared Job to be a righteous man in His sight, someone who had not sinned. 

This is stunning!  It is also prophetic. 

So why do good people suffer?  God answers the question through His Son, Jesus Christ.  How?  When?  By the way He lived His life, starting with His incarnation and ending with His passion, death and resurrection. 

God is all-knowing.  The Lord did not abandon us.  In fact, He joined us.  He joined the human race and suffered and died like one of us.  His life was filled with both joys and triumphs, but also humiliation, betrayal, denial, misunderstanding, suspicion, ridicule, torture and death, even death on a Cross.  God knows pain.  He knows suffering.  He has not shielded himself from it.

God is all-loving.    He isn't the cookie monster, the Church of the flying spaghetti saucer, or the Candy Man.  He is Love.  And love works in very mysterious ways.  Sometimes our greatest act of love can leave us very bloody.  Sometimes our greatest or most heroic moment can be to forgive someone, as painful as that may seem.  Sometimes the greatest lessons we learned came from the most painful experiences we had.  The list of paradoxes goes on and on and on.  Christ added so many to them!

God is all-powerful.  Yes, "Our God is an awesome God.  He reigns from Heaven above."  And yes, "Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.  Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God!  Our God!"


What makes God all-powerful is how humble and patient and kind and merciful and understanding He is.  He never writes anyone off.  He never throws in the towel and quits.  He doesn't seek temporal powers but "to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God" (cf. Mt 22:21).

Why? Why? Why?  We've been taught to think that there is a reason and season for everything.  There is.  But the Lord teaches us something that is much more useful and practical.  When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.  On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him... When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them."  Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

What's the lesson in times of trial?  Just remain faithful.  Do only what is right, good and holy. Regardless of the outcome or how you feel, remain steadfast.  Do not fall into despair or temptation.  Do not change course.  The Lord knows.  The Lord loves.  The Lord is God.

Guts and Glory.  Lamb tough.


  1. "What's the lesson in times of trial? Just remain faithful. Do only what is right, good and holy. Regardless of the outcome or how you feel, remain steadfast. Do not fall into despair or temptation. Do not change course." - Fr. Alfonse

    Why do good people suffer? It's the million dollar question. We can't accept a God that would permit such suffering in the world. How many people have left the faith because they have witnessed insane suffering?

    God is Faithful! I agree with everything Father said above but I would like to add one more lesson on suffering that may be thought-provoking. It's not only that WE should remain faithful to GOD in times of trial, it's that we need to remember that GOD is faithful to US in times of trial.

    Think of Jesus during the Agony in the Garden. I used to think that the only lesson was that Jesus remained faithful to his Father. But now I think that another lesson was that despite all the impending suffering, Jesus realized that GOD would remain faithful to HIM! God the Father would raise Jesus up and make all things anew. Jesus knew this so he bore the sins of the world.

    God will do no less for us. After all, it is God's faithfulness that is steadfast. He is all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful and completely and utterly FAITHFUL to each of us. His love does not change. He never writes us off. He will make all things anew for us in Heaven. Know that. Own that.

    Our minds cannot comprehend the why or the how of suffering We just need to remember that God is faithful and so we in turn must be faithful. In the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, God doesn't call us to success, he calls us to obedience.

    God has a beautiful purpose for each of us. He wants us to be saints. He wants us to be holy. I heard a beautiful thought this morning: "Be the saint God intended you to be!" Wouldn't that be incredible? Food for thought.

  2. "Jesus realized that GOD would remain faithful to HIM!"

    Aren't they one in the same?

    "God the Father would raise Jesus up and make all things anew. Jesus knew this so he bore the sins of the world. "

    So what is the sacrifice?

    1. Dear Anonymous:

      I think the sacrifice was the Jesus' Passion and Death. That should speak for itself.

      As to any questions on the Trinity, I'll defer to Father Alfonse. He has a lot more letters after his name. :)


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