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, November 9, 2014

Jn 2:13-22 The Market According to The Gospel

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
(Click here for readings)

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there.  He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area... He said, "Take these out of here and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."

The Temple.  Today is the feast of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  "It is the first basilica of Rome.  It was consecrated on this date in 324 as the Church of the Most Holy Savior.  Fire and earthquake have repeatedly destroyed the structure; each time it has been rebuilt with care."  (Magnificat)

Church buildings are a man made sign of God made designs:  the New Jerusalem (Heaven) and man, where man is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  

And as the human body is made up of millions of cells, so too the mystical body of Christ (the Church) is made up of millions of members, with Christ being her head and foundation.  On earth as it is in Heaven...

Throughout our lives we endure trials (fire) and tribulations (earthquakes).  And just like we must rebuild after every fire and earthquake, we must learn to rebuild our lives (mind, body and soul) with the same care that God cares for us.

We cannot turn God's temple into a market place.  Otherwise, we will experience God's wrath.

Wall Street.  As I read today's Gospel passage, I couldn't stop thinking of Wall Street and the stock market.  It wasn't so much the corruption or arrogance of Wall Street that kept popping up into my mind.  Rather, it was the way the stock market works and fluctuates, how it can quickly go up and down. 

We all know what happens when the stock market goes up too much too soon:  it is preparing itself for a correction, or what the analysts call, a "pull-back." 

And corrections can be very, very painful.  The Lord made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area...

What the Lord did in Jerusalem was a kind of "divine correction" or "pull-back."  It made perfect sense.  It came at the right moment.  It came at the right place, for the holiest place in Jerusalem had become a marketplace, and a profound correction was required. 

Will the Lord not do the same to us, his greatest creation?
The Market according to the Gospel.  God's glory is a man fully alive.  We are God's proudest moment.  We are also His greatest headache.  From time to time we can begin to think too much of ourselves or too little of ourselves.  Is it so hard to believe that in both cases a divine correction is needed, especially when we think too highly of ourselves? 

It isn't that God is upset with us.  I don't think that's the case at all.  I don't even believe He was upset when He crashed the money changers tables.  It was simple a correction, or better yet, a crash! 
And once in while a crash is necessary.  It keeps us honest.  It keeps us humble.  It keeps us firmly planted on facts, actual data, not estimations.

What makes corrections awesome are the opportunities they open up for investment.  In fact, it is when we are down that God invests in us.  "When I was hungry, you gave me to eat..." (Mt 25:35) "He was lost, but now he is found."  (Lk 15:24).  "They all gave from their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything -- all she had to live on." (Mk 12:44).

Now if the Lord is willing to invest in us when we are down, then it would be wise for us to do the same...and invest in the Lord, for we are the temple of God.

No insider trading allowed, unless it is through prayer.


  1. I do believe God is the ultimate investor. He never gives up on us. He buys low and sells high :)

  2. Fr. Alfonse,

    As someone who works in the investment world and is Catholic, I think this meditation is on to something. I agree conceptually that Jesus clearly showed that “whips and temper” are sometimes needed to cause a “correction” in the Church when it comes to fighting corruption and when certain things get “overvalued” (and by definition, then other good things get undervalued).

    Continuing with the metaphor, what things are “overvalued” or getting too much attention right now in the Catholic Church? And who should do the whipping?

    I think “tolerance” and “inclusion” and “meekness” are overvalued. How else would a synod decide to focus on the 2% of Catholics who are gay, versus the 80% of Catholics who don’t go to Mass and are not engaged Catholics? This is a terrible investment thesis, no matter how you slice the numbers!

    We are at war with the devil and all his allies. But if you walk into an average Catholic Church, you would barely hear that we need a sense of urgency. Instead, homilies tend to lullaby us to sleep with soft speak of “love and forgiveness” and, therefore, many men just decide to "sleep in" instead of waking up in their Faith, going to Mass and then living out the Faith in daily actions (i.e. works).

    So the question is: who will step up to the plate and provoke this needed correction? Is it the Pope, the Bishops, the priests or lay men? And I think it does need to be men (no offence, women) because men are the defenders and change agents of the Catholic Faith, and strong Catholic men are needed to whip our brothers & sons into Catholic shape. Let's brainstorm who and how we should do this.....

    Defending authentic Catholicism,
    St. Paul of Scriptures & Sword

  3. Dear St. Paul of Scripture & Sword,

    I do appreciate your zeal and fervor for our faith. We need more people on fire for Christ. I believe the correction that needs to happen, however, is not a "correction" in the Church -- it is a correction in our hearts. Christ, the eternal son of God, is the answer. He is love itself. We need to be like him and show others how wonderful and joyous it is to be a Christian. You may enjoy Fr. John Riccardo's talk on moral relativism.

  4. I know your response is the new party line of some in the Catholic Church, kind of like the KGB in Russia had its members say certain things. The problem is that the new liberal party line of “God’s endless mercy” and “joy” is not working because it’s not honest and is only a half truth of the complete Catholic doctrine. This is causing 80% of Catholic not to attend Mass, Catholic Churches/schools to close down all over, and many to actually leave Catholicism for protestantism (see yesterday’s article below). A big correction IS needed in the Church in how the Faith is presented: it needs to be less liberal and focused back on the traditional Catholic teachings! For example, a 24 year old male thinks he’s already living a life of “joy” through fornication, alcohol/drug abuse, lying/cheating, and just about any other man made vice. 50 years ago 90% of 24 year old men were married vs. only 10% today, showing just how irresponsible men have become. Such “joyful actions” often lead to contraception, abortion, divorce, gluttony, depression, etc. He’s living the “joy” and just trusts in the end (because of the current Catholic mercy and joy party line) that God understands, God will forgive him by the time he’s 80. Perhaps by the time this man is 50-60 years old and depressed/unhealthy from living the secular lifestyle, then he’ll come back to the Church out of feelings of desperation. But by the time, how many babies did he cause to be aborted, or how many women did he harm, how many of his children had to live miserable, broken lives without a responsible father. Isn’t an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure!!?? And the Catholic doctrine is plenty about prevention if only Catholic priests would preach the entire authentic Catholic Faith, not just the love & mercy part of the equation.

    For example, yesterday on Dallas’ WFAA website, the following article spoke about why Latinos (and by extension, non-Latinos as well) are leaving the Catholic Faith in droves. The Pew report is suggesting many leave because the Catholic Church, in many areas, is too liberal and doesn’t emphasize traditional catechesis, including daily prayer and bible reading. How on earth can such ex-Catholic be led to believe they have a better “personal connection to God” in protestant churches that don’t even provide the Eucharist itself, as the article indicates! The Catholic Church is becoming too liberal and this will cause it to suffer a great purging of both the misguided sheep and the irresponsible shepherds leading them into the abyss!

    Article: The report notes that that the Catholic Church experienced net losses as many Latin Americans joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion outright. The Pew report examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and Puerto Rico. It surveyed more than 30,000 adults in late 2013 and early 2014.
    • Survey respondents said the most common reason for leaving Catholicism and converting to Protestantism is that they were looking for a more personal connection to God.
    • Evangelization efforts seem to be working. According to the survey, more than half of those who switched to Protestantism said their new church reached out to them.
    • Some major survey results mirror trends found among U.S. Hispanics. For example, a 2013 Pew Research poll found nearly a quarter of Hispanic adults in the U.S. were raised Catholic but have since left the church. And like their counterparts in Latin America, many U.S. Hispanics have left Catholicism for Protestantism.
    • Catholics in Latin America tend to be less morally opposed than Protestants on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, artificial means of birth control and sex outside of marriage.
    • Former Catholics in Latin America are more skeptical of Pope Francis. Current Catholics, however, overwhelmingly view the pontiff favorably and consider his papacy a major change for the church

    Defending authentic Catholicism,
    St. Paul of Scriptures & Sword

  5. "The problem is that the new liberal party line of “God’s endless mercy” and “joy” is not working because it’s not honest and is only a half truth of the complete Catholic doctrine. This is causing 80% of Catholic not to attend Mass, Catholic Churches/schools to close down all over, and many to actually leave Catholicism for Protestantism (see yesterday’s article below)."

    Really? Are you serious? Are you saying that "God's endless mercy" and "joy" are the reasons why Catholics are leaving the Church and joining Protestant churches??? GIVE US A BREAK, please! You're nuts!

    What do you think the huge congregations of Saddleback and Osteen and company are talking about? Dogma and Doctrines? No.

    You've lost your marbles and you contradict yourself. On one hand you're saying that Catholics are leaving because they aren't being feed enough morality...while on the other hand you're saying that Protestants are teaching them morality? Who makes it harder to get remarried? Who makes it harder to become a minister? Who makes it harder to get married? Who makes it harder to get mortal sins forgiven? Who makes it harder to live up to the standard of Jesus Christ?
    Protestants or Catholics?

    You're one messed up woman (or something)!

    Oh, and by the way...The Pew results fly smack in your face. They contradict your earlier statements. PEW states: Latin American Catholics are NOT leaving the faith because of "God's endless mercy" and "joy" (and not enough doctrine and dogma), but because Catholics are not reaching out to them and inviting them to a Catholic mass. That's the reason, and I would say one of many reasons.

    People are leaving the Catholic Church because many of them live in irregular marriages or are divorced and cannot receive communion; because they have waited for over a year or two to get an annulment; because they grew up in messed up families; because they had an abortion and felt like they could never step back into a Church; because the secular media is anti-Catholic and anti-Christian; because of scandals; because of our public schools insistence on nothing religious; because of divorce; because of single parents; because of sports being more important than church; because of drugs and alcohol; because of pornography, etc...

    The least reason is because of "God's endless mercy" and "joy."

    Get a grip on yourself. Stop living in lalaland. You're conclusions are baseless and unscientific. You took results from the PEW and spewed out your own biased conclusions.

    Did you think no one noticed?

    oh and by the way..."Catholics in Latin America tend to be less morally opposed than Protestants on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, artificial means of birth control and sex outside of marriage."

    Whoever wrote this obviously didn't read the memo: Protestants have been in favor of artificial birth control for some time now. They also love to build lots of inexpensive churches and ordaining anyone to the ministry.

    You forgot to mention that in many parts of Latin America, it's hard to find a priest while it's easier to find a minister. The ratios are staggering. This may also be a reason for the increase, along with the speaking of tongues and charismatic healings. Pentecostals have done an amazing job at luring Catholics away from doctrine and dogma...the two things YOU consider to be important, not (obviously) Hispanics.

    - Amazing Grace


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