Bob & Nancy, 37th Wedding Anniversary

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Are you a chocoholic? Studies say that “Chocolate is the most commonly craved food in North America,” and each person consumes about 11 pounds each year. If you can understand that kind of craving, you will also understand God sending out prophets and eventually God’s own Son to call people’s attention to what is really worth craving.

Jesus came to show us the truth of how God is: “…a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, relenting from evil,” (Jon. 4:2). But we don’t seem to get it. In the gospel today, Jesus is again begging us to “Repent, and believe the good news” about how God really is, because the fullness of what God wants for us—the kingdom of God—is close at hand, if we would just recognize it.

Loving Embrace

But if God’s love is really good news, why does Jesus have to beg us to believe it? Because there is still evil in the world, so we need help to recognize what is best for us. This is the way God’s love works: when someone recognizes their faults and wrongdoing, when they sincerely ask for pardon, God’s mercy is there before they can get the words out.

God has a constant craving for us to leave our hurt feelings and anger behind, and come home to be fed lavishly at the table of love and forgiveness. In our confusion, some of us try to find a deeper fulfillment by mistakenly leaving our marriage, or our church. Mostly, we forget that God has a deep craving for our wholeness and holiness. Jesus says this simply, “The time has come: Repent—that means, turn around, come toward me—and believe the Good News, that God loves you and wants you back.”

“From the outset, conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical, and which neither limits nor hinders God’s gift…Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming His disciple” (St. John Paul II).

Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to Sr. Thérese’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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