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, September 21, 2014

Mt 20:1-16a Taking a Chance

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus told his disciples this parable:  "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.  After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.  Going out about nine o'clock, the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.' ...And he went out again around noon, and around three o'clock, and did likewise.

Never write anyone off.  In today's first reading, we are reminded at how different we are from the Lord.  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways" (Is 55:8).  So what exactly are God's ways and thoughts?  Let's not forget we can know God through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we can understand God-Almighty in the humble life of His Word made flesh. 

So what exactly is God so great at?  Forgiving.  God forgives like no other and in ways that we cannot even fathom.  His mercy and forgiveness are deeper than the oceans and as "high as the heavens above the earth" (Is 55:9).  God loves to forgive.  He loves to give people a second chance, third chance, fourth chance, etc. 

We must never write anyone off.  This is the great lesson from today's first reading. 

Do you give people a second, third, even fourth chance?

Never write anything off.  From today's second reading, we are reminded at how every gesture of ours, every decision of ours, every thought, word and deed of ours and every moment in our lives - including our death -  can be significant.  In the eyes of God, nothing is insignificant or too small to go unnoticed, not even our death.  For "all things work together for good for those who love God" (Rom 8:28) and everything can move the human heart, mind and body closer to Him.

As St. Paul states:  "For to me life is Christ, and death is gain" (Phil 1:21).

We must never write anything off as being inconsequential.  This is the great lesson from today's second reading. 

Am I prepared to teach others how to live and how to die?

The Lord went out at 9:00, noon, 3:00 and 5:00 pm.  The Lord is constantly calling out to us to come join Him and His amazing work of salvation.  He goes out at all (random) hours of the day looking for all types of (random) people.  It doesn't matter the hour of the day or even the fact that it is close to the end of the day (the End Times?).  It doesn't matter who He finds:  wealthy, poor, healthy or unhealthy.  The Lord is on a mission from His Father to get as many people to work for Him, to change into Him, to live through Him.  That's the mission. 

Never write anyone off.  Never write anything off. 

Are you envious because I am generous?  What's the obstacle to our success?  Jealousy.  Jealousy is a terrible thing.  It kills the heart, mind and soul.  It cripples the body.  It enslaves the human heart.  It kills the soul.  The definition of jealousy is really sad.  In fact, it is sadness at someone else's happiness.  Ugh!  How awful!!!

We all like to compare ourselves to others.  But some of us live and feed off of it, and just like any drug, it can feed not only our addictions, like vanity, but also give us the greatest highs and/or the lowest lows.  In other words, it can make us feel like we are the greatest or make us feel like we are the lousiest.

It's not worth it!

A few days ago, I was walking around the track in our parish hall.  I was on my 5th lap when this elderly woman, who was walking at a slow pace, blurted out to me "I wish I could keep up with you."  I told her, "You don't have to.  You should never compare yourself to others, including me?"  I would never have said this to her if it were not for the fact that I had been meditating on today's Gospel passage. 

Good for me; bad for her!  Oh well...

Today's parable is a reminder - a warning - to never to compare ourselves to others.  Never!  But if we must, then let's be honest and compare ourselves to Jesus Christ. Now that's healthy.  That's being honest.  Comparing yourself to your neighbor is not honest or healthy.  It is superficial.  But comparing yourself to God is beneficial.  It is profound, refreshing, rejuvenating and rewarding.

God never writes anyone off.  And just like in today's Gospel passage, even the slightest effort on our part will be rewarded richly, fairly and justly. 

Are you envious because God is generous?  Don't be, for He is being very generous to you right now.

Never write anyone off and never write anything off is the same as saying take a chance and take someone back.

It's what we have been called to do. 

"The Church acts like Jesus.  She does not give lectures on love, on mercy.  She does not spread a philosophy, a path of wisdom throughout the world. ...Of course, Christianity is all this, but as a consequence, in reflection.  The Mother Church, like Jesus, teaches by example, and uses words to illuminate the meaning of her gestures." - Pope Francis


  1. Hey Father I am one of your parishioners and I found your blog. I am now a follower. Please take a look at mine blog

  2. Excellent, Fr. Alfonse! This is probably one of the best, most well thought out meditations you've written in a long time. What wonderful concluding thoughts after a refreshing Montserrat Retreat I just returned from....

    "The Lord went out at 9:00, noon, 3:00 and 5:00 pm."

    Very interesting that while meditating on the gospel reading, I too was aware of the times of day the owner called idle workers to his vineyard (Our Lord calling us, of course). I don't know how many times I've read this scripture reading and never thought of the significance of time. The selected hours make me think of the Liturgy of the Hours which are traditionally prayed at the same time slots (9am, noon, 3pm, 5pm, etc.) The Lord calls us to join him in the work of salvation, and we answer him back through the continuous prayer of the Church.

    I love randomness. It makes life more interesting and demonstrates how God truly surprises us. I experienced quite a few surprises during my retreat. I felt Christ very close to me. I hope I can keep that intimacy with our Lord and Creator alive and strong.




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.