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, July 5, 2015

Mk 6:1-6a A Wish Or A Prayer?

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


When the Sabbath came [Jesus] began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.  They asked, "Where did this man get all this?" ...And they took offense at him.  Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house."  So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there... He was amazed at their lack of faith.

A while back, while on a mini-vacation, I attended Sunday Mass at a neighborhood Catholic Church.  I was not wearing a collar or anything that would identify me as a Catholic priest.  I was wearing regular clothes.  I must admit it all felt a little strange.

That morning, I had decided I was going to go to Mass as a "spectator."  I looked up the Mass times and chose the earliest one:  7:00 am.  Why the earliest?  Because I figured it was the fastest Mass.  When I walked into the Church, I decided to sit way in the back.  It just came naturally to me to sit in the back.  Suddenly, I felt like I was regressing to my old habits of twenty years ago!  The reason why I was sitting in the back of the church and near the edge of the pew was because I wanted to avoid people and make a quick exit (if necessary).  How funny!

As the priest gave his sermon, I found myself drifting in and out of his talk.  I even began to give my own homily; that is, what I would have said  and how I would have said it.  I began to critique his homily. 

When the Mass was over, I exited quickly to avoid the "rush" of people.  But more importantly, I wanted to avoid speaking to the priest. 

Why did I behave the way I did?  What does this have to do with today's readings?

Amazed at their lack of faith.   The Jews in Christ's native town lacked faith in Him.  Why?  From the Gospel passage, it sounds like the people had some issues with Jesus being the son of a simple carpenter and couple.  In other words, they had immediately ruled out the  possibility of Jesus being someone anointed and appointed.

Do I grudgingly attend Mass on Sunday?  Do I enter Church with a negative attitude:  I'm not going to get anything out of Mass!  I'm just going to fall asleep during the readings and homily.

Have I put up a wall (and booby-traps) between myself and God?  Have I ruled God out of my life? 

Why did these people lack faith in Him?  I think we can safely rule out all scientific reasons, including evolution and the Big Bang - two theories I personally believe in!

It must have been because of their pride. 

Pride is a huge wall that separates us from God.  But not only that.  It prevents the Lord from performing His miracles on us.  He was not able to perform any mighty deed there...because of their lack of faith. 

Pride is to God what kryptonite is to Superman:  it makes Him weak.

People did not bring their sick to Him for healing. 

Why bother?  He won't be able to do anything for them! 
Why listen to the priest's homily?  You won't get anything out of it.  Why go to Church?  It's just full of hypocrites. 

Why pray?  It's what works the least!  Take it from St. Paul: Three times I begged the Lord about a thorn in my flesh!  Three times!  And what did he say to me?  You got plenty!  My grace is sufficient for you!

St Paul goes on to say:  "Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ: for when I am weak, then I am strong."

What???  Is he kidding???  "For when I am weak, then I am strong."  Is that what he just said?  How could he say such a thing?  I don't know about him, but when I am weak, I feel miserable, depressed, and lost!  How could he say such a thing and really mean it?

There is only one way:  by uniting Himself to Christ's storyline.

The goal of prayer is not to make a wish list and hope to get what we ask for.  Praying to God is not like wishing upon a star.  Sure, asking is a part of prayer, but it is not supposed to be all of prayer - at least it shouldn't be!  Rather, we pray so that we can align ourselves to the life of Christ.

This is exactly what St. Paul did.  When rejected three times by the Lord, St. Paul decided to align his life to Christ's life; that is, to Christ's passion: For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

Do you feel alone?  Remember:  the Lord felt alone very often, especially when his followers misunderstood him. 
Do you feel abandoned?  If so, then you are in good company, for the Lord felt abandoned.
Do you feel unloved?  If so, then know the Lord felt unloved.

Let us align ourselves - our lives - to the Lord, so that His ending my also be our ending.


  1. Great meditation, Fr. Alfonse!

  2. We are currently on vacation in a non speaking English country and when we attended mass this past Sunday, I felt just what you said.. I wish I was at All saints listening to the great homilies, etc. Until I saw my daughter that she is drifting out of the mass (granted she doesn't understand the language but I do) then I remembered that God's grace is always available to us during mass but we have to open ourselves in order to receive the graces that were prepared for us. Thank you for the reminder!


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