Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

– July 21, 2019

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Frankly, wouldn’t it feel like a major relief to slow down our rush to the finish line that we call “a productive life”? While our companies don’t agree, Jesus says there is a better way to engage deeply with life, and we call it contemplation. In today’s Gospel we see Mary, Jesus’ dear friend in Bethany, simply content to sit at his feet and listen to his words. She is taking in Jesus’ whole presence…watching him, waiting upon his next thought…and not really thinking about the dinner.

Martha is not wrong in wanting to offer hospitality to her honored guest. But can’t you almost imagine Jesus saying something like, “Martha, quit jumping around, come and sit down with us. I’ve been eager to see you both. And stop fussing—just give me some wine; let’s eat later, so we can spend more time visiting.”

Jesus is calling us to live that deeper life by contemplating all that is around us. It means a prayerful, watchful, observing, and absorbing the beauty, sometimes struggling with the confusion or conflicts we encounter…but doing so from a peaceful center where we entrust and place everything we encounter into God’s hands.

Like Mary, try to spend more minutes each day taking long, loving looks at life around you—adopt the slogan, “Look, Listen, and Love.” Without saying a word, we begin to feel almost one with all of life…and isn’t that the goal of all human existence? Contemplation widens everything: our spirituality, our awareness of God’s work in the world, our role….Keep looking, and listening…and don’t worry about dinner. Jesus has a way of feeding our every need.

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Friday, July 26th is the Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, Grandparents of Jesus. Joachim and Anne serve as great examples of faith for all married couples, parents, and grandparents. Like several Biblical couples, they had difficulty conceiving a child. As time was running out, they desperately prayed to God to grant them a child. By strong faith and patience, God granted them their daughter Mary. St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

A Prayer to St. Joachim and Anne

Dear parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of our Savior Jesus Christ, bless all parents and grandparents and help them teach their children Christian values of faith and compassion. Bestow courage and hope upon couples who struggle to start their families. Guide new parents and bless parents of growing children with strength and understanding. And bless grandparents with wisdom and kindness.

We thank you for the example you set for us with your daughter Mary and grandson Jesus, and we strive to show the same love to our children and grandchildren. May the strong foundation of faith you laid for Mary and her son Jesus always inspire us to guide our children and all future generations in their faith journeys with love and support. In God’s name we pray. Amen.

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

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