Always learning… – 11.05.17

Loving Embrace

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Do some of you remember all the beautiful old prayers Catholics used to say, like “Angel of God, my Guardian Dear…”? Today, some consider prayers like this to be old-fashioned; but they expressed a person’s longings and deep hopes that came from the heart, not the head. They reveal the personal and emotional side of faith—the more intimate language you’d use with someone you love.

Stephanie & Elizabeth

St. Paul says he shared the love of God with the Thessalonians “as a nursing mother cares for her children.” Imagine—our relationship to God is one of resting peacefully on our mother’s breast. Now, there is an image that the Pharisees desperately needed to imitate! They didn’t live their faith by resting humbly and peacefully in God, but made a show and a burden of religion.

Bob & Nancy, 37th Wedding Anniversary

Jesus hated the fact that the religious leaders “preached but did not practice.” We believers sometimes show attitudes towards non-believers or each other. If we show off our “church knowledge”, arguments result. Maybe we stick to the letter of the law instead of offering forgiveness, or use our titles (like Father, mother, lector, Eucharistic Minister) to “shut someone up” or win an argument.

Jesus rebukes all of these temptations. “You are all students.” Humility is the sign of our calling. With believers or non-believers, at all times we are to hold a spirit of peace and humble gratitude. We must return to Psalm 130: “I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother…” Tiny babies seek food blindly, but weaned children return willingly to the mother for comfort and love.

May we only walk to God out of our affection and humble desire to be held and loved!

“Being a disciple means constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place on a street, in a city square, during work, on a journey” (Pope Francis). Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to Sr. Donna’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel: 

Joyfully in the Lord,

Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish
Belmar, NJ

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