Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – 01.20.19

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“There was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding…the mother of Jesus told him ‘they have no wine.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you’…and his disciples began to believe in him.’”

It is easy to remember the first miracle as told by John. Like all weddings there was an invitation, and they were present. A near crisis caused Mary to intervene. She directed the difficult moment to be converted into a miracle, instructing the waiters what to do. Using what was at hand, water and jars enabled Jesus to transform the situation. The result was a newfound belief for those who accompanied Him to the wedding.

We too are invited to be with Jesus at the Eucharistic banquet. Jesus directs us ‘do this in memory of me’ and our own faith is strengthened and renewed by His presence. Mary knows the crises in our lives, of family, injustice, illness. Although the words spoken in the scriptures are the last we read, she too speaks to us ‘do whatever he tells you.’ Her presence and intervention or intercession in our behalf still has meaning ‘pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.’

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“Among the vulnerable for whom the church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this….Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the church cannot be expected to change her position on this question…It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating human life…” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium #213-214).

Let us pray fervently especially this week for an end to the culture of death and the protection of all human life from conception to natural death. 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

The Baptism of the Lord – 01.13.19

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

“The grace of God has appeared, saving all, and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly and devoutly in this age, and to await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people of his own, eager to do what is good.”

How fortunate for Titus to receive an encouraging letter from Saint Paul (today’s second reading). As we bring the Christmas season to a close as Jesus’ baptism takes place, we too are encouraged to make the instruction our own. Yes, Jesus has come and still lives among us. We are challenged each day to abandon godless ways and focus on keeping our eyes on Jesus.

If life was difficult for Paul’s friends, how much more challenging it is for us, surrounded by the internet, porn, material and consumer attractions, drawing us in a different direction. How clear are Paul’s words asking us to live temperately, when so many have nothing, to live justly, in a society which wishes to get ahead and put others down, and devoutly, when many look down on people with religious devotion, customs and traditions.

Paul knew his society and we are so aware of ours. Why not take the virtues Paul recommends and meditate on one each day. May this help us to become eager to do what is right.

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 “We must reawaken the memory of our Baptism. We are called to live out our Baptism every day as the present reality of our lives. If we manage to follow Jesus and to remain in the Church, despite our limitations and with our weaknesses and sins, it is precisely in the Sacrament whereby we have become new creatures and have been clothed in Christ. It is by the power of Baptism, in fact, that, freed of original sin, we are inserted into Jesus’ relation to God the Father; that we are bearers of a new hope, for Baptism gives us this new hope: the hope of going on the path of salvation our whole life long. And this hope nothing and no one can extinguish, for it is a hope that does not disappoint. Remember, hope never disappoints. Thanks to Baptism, we are capable of forgiving and of loving even those who offend us and do evil to us. By our Baptism, we recognize in the least and in the poor the face of the Lord who visits us and makes himself close. Baptism helps us to recognize in the face of the needy, the suffering, and also of our neighbor, the face of Christ. All this is possible thanks to the power of Baptism!” (Pope Francis, General Audience, January 8, 2014).

Listen to my homily today: 

May 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

Feast of the Epiphany – 01.06.19

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

“Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart will throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you…all from Sheba shall come, bringing gold, frankincense, and proclaiming the praise of the Lord…Then they spread their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

The season of holiday visiting is drawing to a close. Lights still shine, the manger scene is special today, and unwrapped gifts are still to be seen. The memories of visits, carols, and delicious traditional foods are still fresh and happy. But what happens now?

“In the name of the Father…”

Like the magi we have waited, searched and found the Christ. It’s our turn to bring gifts, not the three mentioned in today’s readings from Isaiah and Matthew, but a more precious gift, a more valuable gift, the one that the Lord Jesus is waiting to receive from us. It is the gift of ourselves.

We bring joy, hope and happiness. Joy – because we have a Savior, hope – because our world can become better, happiness – because He has chosen me to bring Him to others. We bring an awareness that this Jesus comes again and wishes to accompany us in this new year. He can’t wait for us to get started. We can choose this route, or just simply take the decorations and put them away to gather dust for another year. The choice is quite clear. “They departed for their own country by another way.”

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“When the song of the angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the shepherds are back from their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: To feed the hungry, To release the prisoners, To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among sisters and brothers, To make music with the heart.” 

May 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

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 12.30.18

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

“Because you are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect…Joseph went to the region in Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth.

We are still admiring the many gifts of Christmas. The packages have been opened and their contents displayed. There are gifts you still have to be shared with others. You did not deliver them yet. They are the virtues enumerated by St. Paul in his letter. Surely there is someone waiting to receive you gift of patience, humility and kindness. It is not too late to make sure they receive it. The gift of love is the gift wrap, bow or ribbon to bring everything together.

Can’t you see the Holy Family, settling down after their journey from Bethlehem to Egypt, happy to take a few minutes to relax and be glad that they have a home.  As this special family began to accustom themselves to a new experience, they surely must have been glad the infant Son was with them. As we settle, as we approach a new year, may we find the same Lord as the center of our attention with our family in our home.

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May God bless you and keep you always in His love today, tomorrow and every day of this New Year!

A Prayer for the new year

O god of new beginnings and wonderful surprises, thank you for the gift of a new year.

May it be a time of grace for me, a time to grow in faith and love, a time to renew my commitment to following your son, Jesus.

May it be a year of blessing for me, a time to cherish my family and friends, a time to renew my efforts at work, a time to embrace my faith more fully.

Walk with me, please, in every day and every hour of this new year, that the light of Christ might shine through me, in spite of my weaknesses and failings.

Above all, may I remember this year that I am a pilgrim on the sacred path to you. Amen. 

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Fourth Sunday of Advent – 12.23.18

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby stirred in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out in a loud voice: ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’… ‘Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.’”

What a wonderful family reunion. Two expectant mothers meeting, greeting, celebrating imminent births. St. Luke points out the presence of the Holy Spirit, even before the Pentecost event. The question posed by Elizabeth ‘who am I?’…can be changed for us today.

Who am I that my Lord and Savior should come to me? A loving Father saw our need, and in concern for us, sent, not the mother or our Savior, but the saving Lord Himself. How frequently we pray the words of Luke in the Hail Mary. As we complete our Advent may the question of Elizabeth, and my question be answered.

As we approach the feast of the birth of Christ this week, may we live the visitation event, greeting others in the name of the Lord, recognizing His presence among us in our needy world. The two holy women rejoiced in Christ’s presence, and so do we. Reflect for a few moments on the biblical basis of the Hail Mary.

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In my name, in the name of Father Christopher Dayton, Msgr. Tom Salemi, Fr. Dave Baratelli, our deacons, Sisters of St. Joseph, Sr. Donna D’Alia, RSM, parish trustees, staff, as well as Mr. John Tonero, Principal of St. Rose High School, Mr. Greg Guito, Principal of St. Rose Grammar School, our faculties and staffs, we wish you and your family a Christmas filled with the blessings of peace, joy, and love among your family, friends, and loved ones. Thanks be to God that we are together to celebrate another Christmas! May you have the gift of FAITH, the blessing of HOPE, and the peace of Christ’s LOVE at Christmas and throughout the New Year! God bless you and keep you always in His Love….A Blessed and Merry Christmas to all!

A Prayer for Christmas

Lord of light, shine on us; 

Lord of peace, dwell in us;

Lord of might, protect us;

Lord of wisdom, enlighten us.

Then, Lord, let us go out as your witnesses, in obedience to your commands; to share the good news of your mighty love for us in the gift of your son, our savior, jesus Christ. Amen.

–Eleventh Century Latin Hymn

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Third Sunday of Advent – 12.16.18

Welcome, Deacon Rob!

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Have you heard about this great new idea of “laughter clubs?”  In 1995, a doctor in India learned that intentionally laughing—even when the joke isn’t funny—actually relaxes you, boosts the immune system, relieves anxiety and depression, and improves heart conditions.

Advent Tree 2018

There are now more than 5,000 laughter clubs around the world, where people gather to do some breathing exercises and then create gales of laughter.  What is remarkable is that the immune system can’t distinguish between this created laughter and laughter that is brought on by something you naturally find funny.

Today, every reading for this Third Sunday of Advent says, “Shout for  joy, cry out with gladness, rejoice in the Lord!” You might think, “The world’s a mess; my life is a disaster, and God is nowhere. How am I supposed to rejoice?”  The Scriptures can tell us “Be glad and exult with all our hearts…fear not, don’t be discouraged” because there is a much deeper reality in our lives that we must acknowledge in order to be set free from fear.

Just because we don’t always personally feel God’s presence doesn’t mean there is not a reason to hope. While we wait, we don’t’ always feel like laughing, because we are living in the midst of a world destroyed by sin and death.  Yes, it can be hard to trust God’s “other plans.”  But it’s a bit like laughing until we realize we really do have something to laugh about!

While we wait Jesus tells us how to live in peace:  share your food and clothing; don’t be a bully, or a gossip; be an honest and peaceful person and deal fairly with others. In the midst of the chaos, keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, until you can say, like the Psalmist, “I am confident and unafraid.”

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“Just as the Virgin Mother pondered in her heart the Word made flesh, so every individual soul and the entire Church are called during their earthly pilgrimage to wait for Christ who comes—and to welcome him with faith and love ever new.” (Pope Benedict XVI).  May you have a good week and may God bless and love you, and may Mary watch over you and keep you always in God’s loving care during these  remaining days of Advent and always!

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Second Sunday of Advent – 12.09.18

Diane

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“In every prayer I utter, I rejoice as I plead on your behalf at the way you all have continually helped promote the gospel from the very first day. I am sure of this much, that he who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus…My prayer is that your love may more and more abound…that you may learn to value the things that really matter up to the very day of Christ.

Welcome, Deacon Rob!

How many are busy writing Christmas cards to relatives, friends and acquaintances? The thoughts expressed, speak of a deep, deep concern for the joy of Christ’s presence to touch their lives. At times we might not think twice about the reason for sending a card.

Advent Tree 2018

Consider the reasons St. Paul referred to as he wrote the Philippians. He wrote about his prayer for the new Christian community. He offered encouragement for them to grow in their lives as disciples of the Lord. That prayer motivates us as we begin this second week of Advent.  Advent reminds us of the past coming, but directs us to today and tomorrow where the Lord is leading us. May we find a quiet moment to reflect upon Paul’s wish for us today as we anticipate the coming of Christ with His grace and peace. May we seek out the Sacrament of Reconciliation as part of our Advent.

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Lord our God, with the birth of Your Son, Your glory breaks on the world. Through the hours of the darkened earth we Your people watch for the coming of Your promised Son. As we wait, give us a foretaste of the joy that You will grant us when the fullness of His glory has filled the earth, who lives and reigns with You forever and ever. Lord, bless and strengthen Your people. May we remain faithful to You and always rejoice in Your mercy. We ask all this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

May you have a Blessed and Joyous Christmas Season!

May God bless you and keep you always in His Love! Please pray for our parish during this Advent time. Come, Lord Jesus!

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord



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

First Sunday of Advent – 12.02.18

Mary & Pat

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“The days are coming, says the Lord, when I fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, at that time, I will raise up for David, a just shoot, he shall do what is right and just in the land…May the Lord increase you and make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love for you.”

Tom K.

The Holy Season of Advent has begun. A time of yearning, of expectation, of longing that things can be better. As the prophet told of God fulfilling His promise, may we participate in allowing that to happen today.

The advent time is brief, but offers a great opportunity to do two things: Consider what it was like before the coming of the Messiah, the chaos, the desire, the need for the Father to send someone.

Consider our time, when the same disturbing chaos dominates our thinking with wars, poverty, hate expressed in so many ways. The expected Messiah, would bring that injustice to an end, and will if we but seriously live these special days in prayer, reflection and signs of love and support of others. In this time of commercialism, may we pause to consider those who are hurting in any way, those who are poor, those who do not know our Savior.

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – 11.25.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. In Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, who has made us into a kingdom of priests for His God and Father, to Him be glory and power forever. Amen.”

On the day of our baptism when the priest or deacon took the holy chrism and anointed our foreheads we were told that now we share with Jesus in the threefold role of priest, prophet and king. The name Christ means the anointed one. We often refer to baptism by another name ‘christening.’

As we bring the church year to a close, we pledge our loyalty to Jesus Christ, and dedicate ourselves to build the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The many parables taught by Jesus described His kingdom, the church. Many told us of the hidden treasure, as well as the weeds and the wheat. The kingdom of Jesus finds good and bad, strengths and weaknesses, but it’s the kingdom of the Lord and we are part of it. Let us build the kingdom of God, as He wishes it to be. May we pray ‘thy kingdom come’ with new awareness and deep devotion.

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Prayer to Christ the King

O Jesus Christ, I acknowledge you as universal King. All that has been made has been created for You. Exercise all you rights over me. I renew my Baptismal Vows. I renounce Satan, his pomps and his works; I promise to live as a good Christian. And, in particular do I pledge myself to labor, to the best of my ability, for the triumph of the rights of God and of Your Church. Divine Heart of Jesus, to You do I offer my poor services, laboring that all hearts may acknowledge Your sacred kingship, and that thus the reign of Your peace be established throughout the whole world.

Enjoy this beautiful Feast of Christ the King. 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