Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!
Listen to my homily today: (Below)
Well, today, in the second reading, St. Paul tells us about his weaknesses and his ugly past. He persecuted Christians, he refused God’s call to him, he did everything he could to stop the gospel of Jesus from being preached. But then, a major conversion happened.
Now Paul says, “I am not fit to preach, I am the last one who would be an apostle—but, by the grace of God, “I am what I am.” Paul knows who he is in the light of day, but he presses forward believing that God has his back now.
Simon Peter has a similar story in today’s Gospel. Peter “is who he is”, a rough guy and an expert fisherman. He knows the best time to fish, and he’s just spent all night at it, with no results. Now it’s morning, and Jesus tells him, “Go back and drop your nets again—put out into deep water.” No fisherman would agree to do this—it’s against all reason. Peter says, “We tried that. But because YOU tell me to, I will do it.” He is trusting something beyond his own experience of fishing, and beyond the evidence of his own eyes.
Do we have what Peter and Paul have? They look deeply at themselves and admit to God exactly who they are, in both their best and their worst qualities. Both of them trust God’s call and God’s directing their lives. They listen for God’s voice, then they step forward in faith. They don’t let the sin of fear or timidity hold them back from being who they are.
Please think about this invitation God is giving to you to sink your line into deeper waters—to say, “I am what I am, and I am going to give whoever I am to this cause.” God wants us to come just as we are. So don’t let guilt over past sins or lack of self-confidence ruin your trust in God’s power and love for you. Have faith, as Peter did, that God knows just who you are, and can work with that.
“Never Reach out your hand unless you are willing to extend an arm” (Pope St. Paul VI). In his message this year, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., remarked, “During his time of shepherding the Church, Pope St. Paul VI called all to holiness and a response in faith to meet the spiritual and material needs of others. ‘Never reach out your hand unless you are willing to extend an arm,’ the Pope once said, challenging us to do all we can to build up the Body of Christ, and urging us to offer our help with free hearts and a generous spirit withholding nothing in our lives. With your support, the Diocese of Trenton has been able to embrace that challenge to reach out a hand, to extend an arm, and provide the essential ministries, programs and services that make a critical difference in the lives of so many.”
Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love! Happy Valentine’s Day !
Listen to my homily today:
Joyfully in the Lord
THIS IS MY PARISH
It is composed of people like me. We make it what it is. It will be friendly if I am. Its pews will be filled, if I help to fill them.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people to worship and fellowship, if I bring them.
If will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, and a church with a noble spirit, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these qualities. Therefore, with the help of God I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all things that I want my parish to be.
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish