08.19.18 – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Loving Embrace

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Notice how supermarkets have started cooking food in the aisles, giving us tasty bites in hopes of making us hungry for more? Today the Responsorial Psalm urges us, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” God has issued a universal invitation to come closer, first to taste the Divine Mystery through Jesus, to become more conscious of God, and then to find yourself falling more deeply in love with Love. According to the great mystics, that is the spiritual life in a nutshell!

Jesus himself wants us to taste true awareness of him. He wants our hunger for God to be constantly awakened. So he says in today’s Gospel, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”

When we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it is not “just a symbol.” We ACTUALLY (not just “symbolically”) receive a deeper consciousness of the reality of the life of God. St. Augustine said it this way: “Receive who you are; become what you receive.” It means that we have already been baptized into the Body and Blood of Jesus. So when we take the Host, we are receiving the very One of whom we are already a part. We “receive who we are.”

But in taking the Eucharist, we are not merely chewing and swallowing food; we are making a risky commitment to live and act as Jesus did. It means we dare not go to Communion unless we are ready to take on more and more of the consciousness of Jesus himself.

The “real presence” of Jesus is not only in the bread—WE are to be real presence to the poor, the confused, the needy, and the stranger. This is what eating Christ’s body means—to share “spiritual communion” with all we meet.

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May you have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love! St. Rose of Lima, pray for us!

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

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

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