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Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The purpose of this Sunday’s liturgy is to get us to contemplate the person of Jesus Christ so that we can know him more deeply. Knowledge leads to love, and love to imitation. Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life, must be the center, the criteria and the model for our daily lives. This is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

The accounts written by the Evangelists depict Our Lord’s great capacity for physical activity. The long hours spent at hard work in the carpenter shop had prepared him well for the grueling task of his public ministry.

He walked many miles under the blazing Middle Eastern sun in order to preach the Kingdom of God. He slept many nights under the stars, and he spent much of that time in the bliss of silent prayer. He found little time to eat because of the multitudes seeking his healing touch, and yet when he did find time to rest, he slept so profoundly that not even a terrible storm could awaken him.

Only once did he show the magnificence of his divinity before a select group of apostles. Even then, during the Transfiguration, the experience was brief, simple, and discreet.

Aside from his physical attributes, Jesus knew exactly what he wanted. He was one with his mission. Everything that he did proceeded from his passionate desire to fulfill the will of the Father.

What do we need to do in order to truly know Christ Jesus?

Above all, we must be open. Far too many people attempt to live Christianity based upon their own terms. They do not come to the Lord with open minds and hearts. Far too many remove pages from the Scriptures and reduce Christianity to their own comfort level.

When we are completely open, the Holy Spirit floods our souls with his loving and peaceful presence. God respects our freedom. Only the open can believe and see.

Knowledge automatically brings us to love. We only love that which we know. Our love for the Lord must be authentic and real. Hypocrisy repulsed the Lord. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2: 14).

Love brings about transformation. The goal of discipleship is to die to self so that the Lord may live within us. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8: 34). ( The more we contemplate who Jesus is, the more we will resemble him in every aspect of our lives. May Our Lord bless our daily efforts to know Him better. Amen.


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