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Sunday, August 29, 1999

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22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 20:7-9
Romans 12:1-2
Psalm 63
Matthew 16:21-27

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body language

"I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, your spiritual worship." —Romans 12:1

Twenty-four years ago, I offered my body as a living sacrifice to God. In retrospect, I see the Lord has taken my offering more literally than I had expected. When I offered my body to God, He:

  • confirmed my call to lifelong celibacy,
  • had me work longer hours,
  • established a weekly discipline of fasting in my life,
  • made me healthy,
  • took away my headaches,
  • took ten pounds off of me,
  • called me to pray and study more,
  • got rid of my TV, and
  • used my mind and hands to write several thousand pages of One Bread, One Body.

These are only a few of the things the Lord did to my body after I offered it to Him. If you offer your body to Him, He may make you a virgin or give you ten children. He may call you to breast-feed, home-school, pray into the night, wash others' feet, suffer, walk, study, fast, or do things you've never dreamed of.

At the Last Supper, before Jesus died, He said: "This is My body to be given for you" (Lk 22:19). In love, say to Jesus what He has said to you.

Prayer:  Jesus, You gave Your body for me in Your Incarnation and especially on the cross. I give my body to You.

Promise:  "Then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it." —Jer 20:9

Praise:  "To the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise and honor, glory and might, forever and ever!" (Rv 5:12)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999