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

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 11.18.18

“Our Father…”

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

There was once a news story about a woman who leaped out of the sunroof of her moving car on the highway. She was apparently convinced that the Second Coming or the “Rapture” was occurring when she saw 12 people floating into the air, and a man on the side of the road whom she thought was Jesus. A 22-car pile-up resulted.

The man dressed like Jesus said he was on his way to a costume party when the tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came loose and released twelve blow-up dolls filled with helium which floated into the air. The woman’s husband said, “She loves Jesus more than anything. But this is all just too weird for me.”

Have you noticed a “weird” frenzy of interest in the end times, especially “The Rapture?” The Rapture is not Catholic tradition. It is a theory from the 1800’s that some day before the end of the world, Jesus will “disappear” the true believers away, and this will usher in a chaotic time of intense suffering, before the actual end of the world. The Church tells us not to speculate about these things—because the “hot debate” in our culture usually focuses on fear, terror, and the hideous disasters which they say God will create. Catholics should not be taken in by this “horror-fest.”

Yes, the cosmos will surely come to an end eventually. But we take a true God-centered perspective: The signs of the “end times,” however, and whenever they may occur, are not the big news. The Apocalypse or end of the world means one amazing thing: Love has triumphed! Our God has come! Evil is forever defeated!

The end of the world will bring God’s huge mercy, love and compassion to a magnificent fulfillment. Coming face to face with our God is something to rejoice in—not to fear.

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For the Food Bank

In my name, in the name of Father Chris, Msgr. Tom Salemi, Father Dave Baratelli, our deacons, religious sisters, our parish staff, Principals and staffs of St. Rose High School and St. Rose Grammar School, we wish you and your family a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving! May God from whom all blessings flow continue to bless you with good health, peace, and an assurance of His abiding presence. Thank You for all you do for St. Rose Parish and Schools. A helpful suggestion: Steps Toward Gratitude: 1. If you keep a journal, write down three new things every day—good or bad—for which you would like to be grateful. 2. Google and watch Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast’s TED talk, “Want to be Happy? Be Grateful.” Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! May God bless you, keep you in His Love, and always find in you a grateful heart!

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 11.11.18

Joanne F. & Jim S.

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Today, Jesus again penetrates beneath the surface realities. This time it’s the people giving contributions at the temple: the rich put in large sums, and a poor widow puts in about two pennies. Widows could not inherit their husbands’ money, and thus they were the poorest of the poor.

So it must have shocked the apostles to hear Jesus say that this widow “has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.” How could this pitifully poor widow be the “big spender”?

To look beyond appearances, we may need a “paradigm shift”—an entirely new way of looking at the same old information. Jesus says to look differently at the giving: Who is giving their all?—giving their heart, giving till it hurts, not merely surplus. That’s the one who is truly giving the most.

Does this mean that we all have to spend down to our last two cents before we give of our all? Of course not. Jesus said it was true for that widow; but he wants us to figure out what is true for us.

Learning how to imitate the gospel is a very personal creative process. At every age—5, 18, 25, 40, 70 and beyond—we will give differently. We have to keep asking, “How am I giving now?” Regardless of how our lives change, we have to keep taking stock to see how our giving imitates the sincerity and the generosity of the poor widow.

Another realization: everyone, regardless of their mental disabilities, their weaknesses, their flaws, has something valuable to give the Christian community. When we give from whatever we really are—weakness and all—we can begin to receive the abundance that Jesus came to reveal to the world!

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Fr. Louis Merton, O.C.S.O.

Lord, I have no idea where I’m going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself. And the fact t that I think I am doing your will, does not mean that I am actually doing it.

But I believe that the desire to please you, does in fact please you, and I hope that I have this desire .I know that if I do this ,You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I trust you always. Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death,

I will not fear, for you are with me, and you will never leave me face my perils alone.

 (–Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude)

November is the month we pray in a special way for all of our faithful departed and for the poor souls in Purgatory. They need and depend on our prayers so that someday they will see God face to face in the Kingdom of Heaven. May I suggest praying three “Hail Mary’s” every day for those in your family who have gone home to the Lord…keep their memory alive and holy in your thoughts and prayers. Someday we will all be together with those who have done before us in faith. In the meantime, remember the words St. Benedict wrote in his Rule for Monks, “Yearn for everlasting life with a holy desire.” And, as St. Paul wrote, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”  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

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – 11.04.18

Carter and Colleen B.

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Wouldn’t it be so good to have something that we knew for sure was the greatest in the world? Well, folks, you and I do have something that is the greatest in the world. We have the greatest commandment in the world. In fact, we have two greatest commandments, love God and love our neighbor. Jesus says we must love God will all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Whenever we state that we believe in one God, we make a subversive statement, because we claim that no one, no thing, can have dominion over us. Only God is God.

We are filled with desires for beauty, closeness, moral righteousness, community; we want to live a life that is worth living—one that is filled with meaning. But as long as we don’t recognize that all of our desires are contained in our desire for God, we will continue to encounter dead ends and a feeling of frustration and incompleteness. This will happen when we think that we have finally found something that will bring total happiness and fulfillment to our lives, only to discover that loving God and one another is the only final answer.

The two commandments we heard today in the gospel are the absolute best directions that are available in this whole world. Follow these directions and your life will be fulfilled—it may not be easy but it will be worth living. Jesus has given us the greatest commandment, the one thing necessary for life, the heart and soul of what it means to be human—love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself. And do both with everything that is in you.

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PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

God our Father, You made each of us to use our gifts in the Body of Christ. We ask that You inspire young people whom you call to priesthood and consecrated life to courageously follow your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest so that the Gospel is preached, the poor are served with love, the suffering are comforted, and your people are strengthened by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

“In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, His Beloved is seeking him much more” (St. John of the Cross). November is here….the year is quickly passing….enjoy these beautiful Autumn days, each one is a gift from God! Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to my homily today: (Posted after Mass.)

Joyfully in the Lord,

 



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

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 10.28.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks tells the story of Virgil, a man blind since childhood, whose sight was restored at age 50. Virgil could finally see colors and movements, but had great difficulty organizing them into recognizable objects. His habits and behaviors were still those of a blind man. Dr. Sacks concludes that having physical sight is not the same as actually seeing.

Today we see a vivid illustration of this truth. To truly see Jesus and his truth requires more from us than simply looking at Jesus, or hearing his teachings. It is going to require a change of direction, a change of life, and a transformation of our identity.

Bartimaeus, the blind man in today’s gospel, was ready to be changed. He was not ashamed to cry out for help. He promptly threw off everything that was holding him back and jumped up to respond to Jesus’ offer of healing. But Jesus puts the responsibility for healing back on Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus engages Jesus humbly yet with faith: “Teacher, let me see again.” His vision returned. Jesus’ response both heals and invites:  “Go; your faith has made you well.” Go where? Bartimaeus chooses to follow Jesus in his ministry.

Like Bartimaeus, we should not just be consumers of God’s grace, but allow our healings to send us out to join Jesus in ministry. But, do we really want to be healed of our spiritual or emotional wounds?

It can be difficult to “throw off our cloaks” of pride, envy, dishonesty, grudge-bearing. We need the community of faith to hold us up in our efforts. Let us form a true family by offering each other the tender love of Jesus, until we all feel the strength to throw off what binds us, and follow our Healer with new hope.

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“If the soul longs for nothing else than to love its God, then don’t worry and be quite sure that this soul possesses everything, that it possesses God himself” (St. Pio of Pietrelcina)… The Feast of All Saints on November 1 and All Souls on November 2 certainly are occasions in our Catholic faith to reflect on the virtue of Christian Hope..our call to live each day in holiness of life and the promise of eternal life when our earthly pilgrimage comes to an end. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 10.21.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, for he has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”

When the Father sent the Son as our redeemer, Jesus assumed every part of our humanity, except sin. For this reason He knows and understands us, with our strengths and weaknesses, our cares and our concerns. Because of His identity with us, I am able to seek Him out in my every need.

He knows my deep desire to live as a faithful disciple. He knows that when I fail, He is awaiting me with open arms. Because of His closeness to me, I go to Him without fear, as He gives me the gift of his mercy and grace.

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Tomorrow, October 22 is the Feast of St. John Paul II. He served as Pope from 1978 to 2005. He was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowica, Poland and died April 2, 2005, the Vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy. “The Eucharist is the secret of my day. It gives strength and meaning to all my activities of service to the Church and to the whole world…Let Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament speak to your hearts. It is he who is the true answer of life that you seek. He stays were with us: he is God with us. Seek him without tiring, welcome him without reserve, love him without interruption: today, tomorrow, forever” (St. John Paul II, Pastoral visit to Young People of Bologna, 1997)….. 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