One Bread, One Body — 06.18.17

Praised be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Brothers and sisters: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf?”

The simple questions St. Paul asks his Christian community at Corinth are directed to us on this great day for our Catholic community. The danger of routinely approaching the altar and receiving the Eucharist is shaken as we read his important questions.

People wait hours to catch a glimpse of a hero, a star or idol. Many thousands gather in St. Peter’s square weekly to see the Holy Father, hear his message and receive his blessing. But every time we meet for Mass, Jesus is present in the gift of the Eucharist.  He is present for adoration in the tabernacle, waiting for our praise and thanksgiving.  Jesus is truly present in this sacrament for He wanted to remain with us, and this is the way He chose to be here.

May we be reminded of this great gift of His presence as we enter our church. May we teach our children the need for respect and reverence as we celebrate each Mass.
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Welcome, Father Michael Kennedy! This morning we welcome back Father Michael Kennedy who was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Trenton on June 3rd at St. Mary’s Cathedral by Bishop David O’Connell, CM. Father Mike was with us as a seminarian during the summer of 2015, and we are so happy to welcome him back to celebrate the 11:30 Mass as a Mass  of Thanksgiving on this beautiful feast of Corpus Christi. After Mass, please join us for a delicious Brunch downstairs in the parish center (hospitality Sunday), and receive a personal priestly blessing from Father Michael Kennedy. Ad multos annos, Fr. Mike, ….may you be blessed with many happy and holy years of priesthood!

Summer officially begins June 21! Two important reminders: First, Church etiquette concerning dress: Out of respect for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in our (and every) Catholic Church, and out of respect for the presence of Christ in each member of the Body of Christ, please dress appropriately and modestly for Mass. Let us give God our very best and that means the way we are attired when we come to participate in the Eucharistic Liturgy. Second, while you may be away for a well-deserved vacation, please remember that your parish has bills to pay and upkeep and repairs to tend to on our campus. If you are away, please make up your Sunday offering when you return. Thank you and have a restful and refreshing summer!… Enjoy this Father’ Day, have a wonderful week, and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to a reflective reading of today’s Gospel by Sr. Thérèse: 

Listen to my homily at today:

 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Feast of the Holy Trinity – 06.11.17

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Have you ever gotten up in the morning with a stiff neck? It’s miserable—you have to walk like a robot, and even your shoulders and arms don’t work right. In the first reading today from the Book of Exodus, Moses called the people “stiff necked” because of their pride and arrogance. They weren’t looking to right or left, just at their own desires. Moses cannot lead them to God if they only do what pleases THEM.

That greater perspective is at the very heart of our calling. Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. The word “Trinity” means that, when we were conceived, we were born into a community of holiness, the Trinity. We were “stamped” with that identity. Our God is One God—but that One God is the fullness of three Persons: the One who created us, the One who redeems us, and the One who comforts and inspires us.

Today we celebrate our life purpose, and our deepest calling—to call each other into unity with God, as the Persons of the Trinity are One. We are made in the image of a Unity, not just in the image of one of the Persons of the Trinity.

We experience that truth in those “peak moments” in life—those deep moments of harmony, feeling at one with everything—maybe similar to that moment when God looked at the creation and felt its goodness. Think of some rare, secret moment when you have felt such deep happiness that you knew in a flash that you were one with not just the world, but the whole universe. This is probably as close as we can experience in this life to who we really are in the fullness of the Divine Community.

Our church, ekklesia in Greek, means to be “called out” from alonenesss, into that unity which only the Trinity models for us. Let’s be busy encouraging everyone to feel this truth.
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“…Today’s solemnity (of the Holy Trinity), while it makes us contemplate the wonderful mystery from which we come from and where we go towards, renews in us the mission of living in communion with God and to live in communion among ourselves on the model of that communion of God. We are called to live not without each other, over or against the other, but WITH one another and IN one another. This means to receive and accordingly give witness to the beauty of the Gospel; to live in love mutually and towards all, sharing in joy and sufferings, learning to ask and to grant forgiveness, valuing the various charisms under the guidance of the Pastors. In one word: we are entrusted with the task of building ecclesial communities that is more and more a family, capable of reflecting the splendor of the Trinity and to evangelize not only with words, but with the strength of the love of God that lives is us” (Pope Francis Regina Caeli Address, May, 2015).

May you have a good week and may God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Pentecost Sunday — 06.04.17

“Come, Holy Spirit!”

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!  He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

 “Brothers and sisters ‘No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit. There are different forms of service, but the same Lord. There are different workings, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”

The Poppert Family

On this great day we recall a new life given to the apostles and the church, we see the signs of tongues of fire, hear the noise and feel the wind which accompanied the Spirit.  That same Spirit has directed the church through twenty centuries with great blessings, trying difficulties, but always manifesting an abiding presence.  How true that is today.

The Zwiebels

I ask what are the gifts present and needed by the church today. I wonder what the service which the church can provide to our needy world. I look to observe the Spirit at work among us. Yes, the words of Paul are manifest today.

But I also must ask what am I doing to use the gifts I have received, or what service can I provide, or what work needs to be done, and if I don’t do it, it will always remain undone. I ask that the Spirit of Pentecost will awaken

A blessed and happy Feast of Pentecost to all—the birthday of the Church!  May the Holy Spirit breathe new life, new joy, and a renewed desire in us to evanagelize—to make the Lord Jesus, the On Savior of the world, known and loved to all we meet!

“Meet and Greet” Greg and Liz Ryan,  parishioners and authors of their newly published book by Paraclete Press, The ABC’s of Thomas Merton, A Monk at the Heart of the World, today after all the Masses  outside of Church (except the 5:00 Sunday Mass). Special discount price this weekend:  $15.00. Congratulations to Greg and Liz…. It’s a great book….so please stop by after Mass!

Rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit! May you know how precious you are and loved by God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! May His Spirit dwell in you and give you abundant peace, and joy! May the prayer below become a favorite of yours as it is of mine. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
 
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
(St. Augustine)

Joyfully in the Risen Lord,



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

The Hour Has Come — 05.28.17

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!
 
“Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father the hour has come. Give glory to your son so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God and the one you have sent, Jesus Christ…. I pray for them.”

Gifts are given. One considers who the receiver is and what that person might like or need. After deliberating a choice is made and the gift is offered.

Gifts are received. One opens his or her hands to receive them and gratefully accept what has been chosen.

The greatest gift ever is the gift of eternal life. By His dying and rising, Jesus wanted to give us this gift. We call it grace, the very life of God, communicated to us freely by Him and accepted. As I reflect upon this awesome care of God for me, at this very moment, I do not need to send a thank you note, but prayerfully take, protect and guard this incredible treasure.

My response can be my prayer of thanks to Him.

The Wawer Family

This is a busy time of year with school winding down, graduations on the horizon, the beginning of the summer season and, hopefully, a slower pace of life. But let us prepare our hearts for the Feast of Pentecost next Sunday, the birthday of the Church! How about wearing something RED to Church next weekend? Above all, pray fervently for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that our one desire may always be the Lord Jesus Christ and our call to holiness of life and discipleship!

“Let us ask ourselves: are we open to the Hole Spirit, do I pray to him to enlighten me, to make me more sensitive to the things of God? And this is a prayer we need to pray every day: Holy Spirit may my heart be open to the Word of God, may my heart be open to good, may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day” (Pope Francis).

May you have a happy, safe, and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to my homily today: (No recording this week)

Joyfully in the Risen Lord,



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

Our Advocate – 05.21.17

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

Shortly after Charles Dickens wrote about Tiny Tim and Scrooge, almost 30,000 abandoned or orphaned children were living on the streets of New York City, immigrant children whose families hoped for more success in the U.S.

But unemployment, disease and death claimed many desperate parents. Babies and older children were being left on priests’ doorsteps and at charity hospitals. By 1929, almost 200,000 orphaned children were sent by The Orphan Trains to live new lives in 47 states and Canada. Today, over 400 actual Orphan Train Riders are still living!

Donohue Family

The stories of frightened, lonely orphans testify that fear of abandonment, of being left alone with no one to care for us, is a deep fear in every person. But today, Jesus says in the Gospel, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” And not only Jesus, but the Holy Spirit “remains with you, and will be in you.” Further, Jesus is teaching us the deep truth of life in the Trinity, when he says, “…you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” Even when Jesus leaves the apostles—or when he seems far from us—our destiny as Christians is to be drawn into the family of the Trinity.

But we are to see the Holy Spirit now not only as Comforter in times of trial, but as an Advocate. And now WE also must be the Advocate, the Comforter, and the Inspirer for the world, because, as Jesus says, the world does not know the Spirit, but we do! We are not orphaned, and we must live in such a way that others will not be orphaned, either. Will it be painful? Yes, but St. Peter says, “It is better to suffer for doing good…than for doing evil.” For now—we celebrate God’s goodness!

“Dear pilgrims, We have a Mother. Clinging to her like children, we live in the hope that rests on Jesus…. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he brought to the Heavenly Father our humanity, which he assumed in the womb of the Virgin Mary and will never forsake. Like an anchor, let us fix our hope on that humanity, seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father (cf. Eph. 2:5). May this hope guide our lives! It is a hope that sustains us always, to our dying breath” (Pope Francis, Homily at Canonization Mass for St. Jacinta & St. Francisco Marto in Fatima, May 13, 2017).

May God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Sr. Thérèse

Listen to Sr. Thérese’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel:

 

Listen to my homily today:

Joyfully in the Risen Lord,



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

Give Life – 05.14.17

Connor and Grandma

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

Isn’t it annoying when someone tries to give you a 3-word solution to all your worries? Like Nike telling us to put on their $150 sneakers and “Just Do It” when we have a ton of homework, housework, or four kids to raise. That’s all we need, more pressure to meet someone else’s expectations.

Donohue Family

But when Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” it isn’t pressure, it’s realistic. Count up the number of hours you spend texting or calling friends about your fears and worries. Jesus has to repeatedly tell, urge, and instruct his own disciples to be at peace. “Have faith in God, and faith in me.”

Faith does not always mean only believing in doctrine and religious teachings. We will always have doubts and questions about beliefs, just as the apostles do today. Faith is also a wordless trust at a deep level in our hearts, because we know we are loved. Remember how your mother used to say, “I’ve got eyes in the back of my head”? One reason we can trust God is because, as Psalm 33 says, “the eyes of the Lord” are always upon us. You know how the eyes of moms and dads never leave their child at the park or beach.

This is the vigilant love we can trust, even when death breaks our hearts, even when we lose our health, our home, or our memories. These days, people seem short-tempered and hostile. But, Catholics should not simply tolerate chronic anger and fear in our daily lives. Instead, when we feel the least at peace ourselves might be the best time to use our will to bring peace to a clerk who is rude, a driver who cuts you off, a pessimistic friend. Instead of lashing back, act out in faith. Be the peace of Jesus to a shattered situation near you.

“Being a mother doesn’t only mean bringing a child to the world, but it is also a life choice. What does a mother choose, what is the life choice of a mother? The life choice of a mother is the choice to give life. And this is great, this is beautiful” (Pope Francis).  Enjoy this Mother’s Day and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

 

Listen to Sr. Joyce’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel:

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Our Shepherd – 05.07.17

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” (Anatole France). Most of us have had a loving relationship with a special animal we consider a family member.  Take the bond many people have with a dog. A dog may bark or growl at a stranger until the master reassures the dog there is no danger. Once dogs know their master, dogs have even been known to give their lives for them.

Connor and Grandma

Today, Christ refers to us as his sheep and to himself as our shepherd. Jesus says he is our guardian who promises to care for us always: “Whoever enters the sheepfold through me will be safe.” If we develop a whole-hearted relationship of love and trust in Christ, he will protect us from harm, especially from the harm of spiritual death through sin and evil.

Donohue Family

Sheep get disoriented easily; they lose their path, and wander in confusion. Just as Christ knows us intimately, the shepherd really knows what the sheep need. The bottom line for us Catholics is this: to be fully human, we don’t “just exist”—we must enter a deep relationship with God. This means listening to the voice of Christ by private and group prayer, and by listening to the stories of faith others tell us.
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Here is a prayer Saint John Paul II wrote that was part of his Act of Entrustment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“Mother of all individuals and peoples, you know all their sufferings and hopes. In your motherly heart you feel all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, that convulse the world: accept the plea which we make in the Holy Spirit directly to your heart, and embrace with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord those who await this embrace, and also those whose act of entrustment you too await in a particular way. Take under your motherly protection the whole human family, which with affectionate love we entrust to you, O Mother. May there dawn for everyone the time of peace and freedom, the time of truth, of justice, and of hope” (St. John Paul II).

May you have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love! Mary, our life, our sweetness, and our hope, pray for us! Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!  

Listen to a reflective reading of today’s Gospel by Sr. Thérèse: 

Sr. Thérèse

 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

For All of Humanity – 04.30.17

Pat F.

Pat F.

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

All of us have been at a party or walking on the street, when we failed to recognize someone we actually know very well. In today’s Gospel, we join two disciples on the road to Emmaus who failed to recognize Jesus until hours later, when he blessed and breaks bread with them at table.
How about us? Does our communion open our eyes to a remarkable new perception of Jesus in our midst? St. John Paul II said, “The Eucharist is not merely an expression of communion in the Church’s life; it is also a project of solidarity for all of humanity”—we are to be a ‘sign and instrument’ of intimate communion with God and also of the unity of the whole human race (Para. 27, Mane Nobiscum).
IMG_0709This shocking statement means that our receiving communion today is a “project of solidarity” not just for baptized Catholics, but “for all of humanity”! Pretty remarkable, isn’t it? But there’s one more dramatic statement—one we cannot ignore. “We cannot delude ourselves: by our mutual love and, in particular, by our concern for those in need we will be recognized as true followers of Christ. This will be the criterion of which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebration is judged.”
We often feel discomfort, not solidarity, with the poor, the disabled, or a tattooed teenager. But to have “intimate union” with the whole human race is going to mean sweat, blood, love, pain, amazement, discomfort, risk…
Step out of your discomfort zone, and step into Jesus’ comfort zone, by bringing one bit of Jesus’ peace and solidarity to the lives of others. Eye contact, a smile, a greeting, a handshake, starts the beautiful path to Resurrection.
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Version 3The ABCs of Thomas Merton: A Monk at the Heart of the World. Our parishioners, Gregory Ryan and his wife Elizabeth Ryan, just published a beautiful children’s book on the renowned monk, Thomas Merton. (Greg has been involved for many years with the “Thomas Merton Discussion Group and the Weekly Meditation Group” of our parish—one of our parish ministries). The book is available on AMAZON and is published by Paraclete Press (Hardcover $12.94). Here is a synopsis: “Young readers (age 5-9), parents, grandparents, teachers and catechists will enjoy learning about the major events in Thomas Merton’s life and the choices he made along the way to become the world’s most famous monk and hermit. The playful ABCs format used in this book will help children to remember what they are learning about Thomas Merton and the Christian life in general. With childlike simplicity, the book creates an open and contemplative mood for the child and grown-up sharing in the reading experience.” I read the book and found it very delightful….why not check it out! Congratulations and THANK YOU, Greg and Elizabeth!
“The Gospel allows you to know the real Jesus, it lets you know the living Jesus; it speaks to your heart and changes your life. And then yes, you leave it all…you are reborn: you have found what gives meaning” (Pope Francis, Angelus Address, July 27, 2014).
May peace and love of the Risen Lord Jesus bless you this day, this week, and always!


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

Divine Mercy Sunday – 04.23.17

IMG_0709Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

Listen: 04.23.17 Divine Chaplet Sung

“They devoted themselves to the teaching the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers…All who believed were together and had all things in common…Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes…and every day the Lord added to their numbers.”

Such a description as found in today’s second reading from the Acts of the Apostles, seems ‘too good to be true’ but this is the description of the first disciples of the Lord. The teaching of the apostles, the kerygma, telling of the resurrection of Jesu and His victory gave their discipleship new meaning. Like a family, they formed a support group, sharing joy, as well as fears, anxieties and triumphs, because Christ was alive. The Eucharist became the common bond, uniting them with Christ and one another. Prayer became a binding force.

Can I not see that my life in my parish, my small group, is a mirror of those described by St. Luke or of those gathered in the upper room? Can the presence of Christ in my life, lead me to recognize His presence in others? Can I truly believe that I am not alone in my faith and move from ‘God and me’ to ‘God and we?’ On Divine Mercy Sunday, it can happen.

DivineMercySundayThis Second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. St. John Paul II established Divine Mercy Sunday as a universal feast day in the Church on the day he canonized St. Faustina Kowalska, the great Apostle and Secretary of Divine Mercy on April 30, 2000, which was Divine Mercy Sunday that year. Divine Mercy Sunday is the celebration of the Feast of Mercy that our Lord asked of St. Faustina. This feast of mercy is the focal point that summarizes the Divine Mercy message and devotion. The message of mercy can be called to mind by remembering the ABC, ASK for His Mercy. BE merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. COMPLETELY trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust.

“How much today’s world is in need of God’s mercy! An invocation of mercy upon all the Continents seems to rise, from the depth of human suffering. Where hatred and the thirst for vengeance prevail, where war sows grief and the death of innocents, the grace of mercy is necessary to appease spirits and hearts, and have peace spurt out. The merciful love of God is necessary where respect for life and the dignity of man is lacking, because, manifested in His light, is the inestimable value of each human being. Mercy is necessary so that every injustice of the world finds its end in the splendor of truth” (St. John Paul II).

As we conclude the Octave of Easter today and continue to celebrate Easter, may the love and mercy of the Risen Lord bless you on this Divine Mercy Sunday and always! Pray constantly: Jesus, I Trust in You!

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Easter Sunday – 04.16.17

ChristIsRisenChrist is Risen, Alleluia!  He is truly Risen, Alleluia!

Allow me to remind you of two words which were exchanged  in today’s Gospel.  Jesus said to Mary Magdalen, “Mary!” and she said to him, “Rabbouni!” (which means teacher).  Mary and Rabbouni.

04.20.14 01 MediumThose two words said it all.  They recognized each other.  They called each other by name.  Can you not just imagine the powerful emotion that must have been  present between Jesus and Mary?  All grief disappeared, all despair vanished like the wind, all sadness was now just a bad memory.

Easter means that Jesus will never forget our names.  We will never just become a distant memory.  Even after our deaths, we will be called into happiness by that most precious of words—our name.  This is Easter.  Jesus has wrestled with death and has won.  He is risen and with us—now, today and forever.  And through his resurrection, he promises us our resurrection.

Mary Magdalene received a strong hint of the resurrection when Jesus freed her from her demons.  She started living with a new life.  I’m sure that Jesus wants to give us some taste of that resurrected life even as we live on this earth.  How many times in our life have we received something as a sheer gift; how many times has newness come into our lives; how many people have loved us when we needed it most—these and so many other signs show us the presence of the Risen Christ in our lives.

ResurrectionThrough our love and compassion, may we also be signs of the new life of Christ for all our sisters and brothers!

“…We are called to rediscover and to receive with particular intensity the comforting news of the Resurrection:  ‘Christ my hope is arisen!’  Since Christ is resurrected, we can look with new eyes and a new heart at every event of our lives, even the most negative ones.  Moments of darkness, of failure and even sin can be transformed and announce the beginning of a new path.  When we have reached the lowest point of our misery and weakness, the Risen Christ gives us the strength to rise again.  If we entrust ourselves to him, his grace saves us!  The Lord, Crucified and Risen, is the full revelation of mercy, present and working throughout history.  This is the Paschal message that resounds again today and will resound for the whole Easter Season until Pentecost” (Pope Francis, Regina Caeli Address, March 28, 2016).

May the peace, mercy, love and joy of the Risen Lord Jesus bless you and your family this Easter day and  always!  Enjoy the Easter feast with family and friends…God bless you and keep you always in His Love!



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