Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

– August 25, 2019

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Taking in Jesus and his gospel was never intended to be like taking an anti-depressant pill—more like taking up a cross.  The way of Jesus is not like a big comfortable pillow we settle back on for a snooze.  Yet, one of the hazards of reading the Scriptures regularly is that we tend to only go back to those parts of the Scripture that are comfortable to us.

You can imagine how penetrating the eyes of Jesus are into each of one of our souls.  There is “nowhere to run, nowhere to hide” if we are just going through the motions of a surface religion.  Jesus certainly knows if we use religion the way a drug addict uses drugs, to feel good about ourselves, to justify our lifestyle, to satisfy our craving for righteousness.

Some of us will not be strong enough to enter the narrow way because we haven’t made our lives into anything of strength.  We haven’t exercised any “spiritual muscles”:  haven’t built up virtue, or patience, haven’t practiced giving freely to others; we haven’t held our tempers, or forgiven those who don’t deserve to be forgiven.  Those who do not want to forgive, who hold on to anger, who do not want peace, will not be ready for an eternity full of reconciliation, and complete joy and oneness which Jesus Himself IS.

Jesus is not just asking for external observance, for keeping the rules as many Jews did, without a deeper purpose.  Jesus is asking us to put on his very life—to eat and drink of his body and blood, so that we live out of his very substance.  Only then will we have the inner guidance required to live life in the Spirit of Jesus.  Rules are fine—but it is the Spirit of the law which gives life to us, and everyone around us.

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Summer days are fading, it’s almost time to go back to school (sorry kids!), so enjoy these days of rest and relaxation.  Here’s a short but beautiful prayer to pray every day as you call to mind the Lord’s love for you:  Jesus, I love you.  Jesus, I praise you. Jesus, I adore you.  Jesus, I thank you for everything.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

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