08.19.18 – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Loving Embrace

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Notice how supermarkets have started cooking food in the aisles, giving us tasty bites in hopes of making us hungry for more? Today the Responsorial Psalm urges us, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” God has issued a universal invitation to come closer, first to taste the Divine Mystery through Jesus, to become more conscious of God, and then to find yourself falling more deeply in love with Love. According to the great mystics, that is the spiritual life in a nutshell!

Jesus himself wants us to taste true awareness of him. He wants our hunger for God to be constantly awakened. So he says in today’s Gospel, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”

When we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it is not “just a symbol.” We ACTUALLY (not just “symbolically”) receive a deeper consciousness of the reality of the life of God. St. Augustine said it this way: “Receive who you are; become what you receive.” It means that we have already been baptized into the Body and Blood of Jesus. So when we take the Host, we are receiving the very One of whom we are already a part. We “receive who we are.”

But in taking the Eucharist, we are not merely chewing and swallowing food; we are making a risky commitment to live and act as Jesus did. It means we dare not go to Communion unless we are ready to take on more and more of the consciousness of Jesus himself.

The “real presence” of Jesus is not only in the bread—WE are to be real presence to the poor, the confused, the needy, and the stranger. This is what eating Christ’s body means—to share “spiritual communion” with all we meet.

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May you have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love! St. Rose of Lima, pray for us!

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

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

08.12.18 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Elijah prayed for death, saying: This is enough, O Lord. Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers. He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat…for the angel of the Lord came back a second time, touched him and ordered ‘Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you.’ He got up, ate and drank…he walked for forty days and nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.”

We return to Capernaum and find Jesus telling us: ‘I AM the bread of life.’ It is in the Eucharist we find Jesus present to accompany us on our journey. Elijah was awakened twice and was ordered to brace himself for the journey. Jesus is the bread of life for us. We often overlook how great, how important, how necessary is this gift for our spiritual survival.

How many people in the world die each day of starvation? Too many, and we are called to assist them. How many people in the church take the gift of the Eucharist for granted? We speak of a priest shortage, while we should focus on the lack of appreciation for the gift of the Eucharist. Where in our world are people deprived of what is so essential, yet we sometimes take the priesthood, the Mass and Eucharist for granted.

If Jesus is the bread of life, I need to go to Him with renewed fervor and gratitude. ‘Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you.’

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“Precisely because Mary is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us. While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is actually within all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Our Lady knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness. She always listens to us and, being Mother of the Son, participates in the power of the Son and in his goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to this Mother” (Pope Benedict XVI).

A special welcome to all those visiting St. Rose Parish this weekend and thank you for joining us in the celebration of the Eucharist. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love! Mary, Queen of the Assumption, pray for us!

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

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 07.22.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her Second Grade class memorize Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” Bobby was excited, but he wasn’t very good at memorizing. After much practice, his turn came to recite Psalm 23 before the congregation. The teacher was nervous. He stepped up to the microphone and proudly announced, “The Lord is my Shepherd—and…and…–and that’s all I need to know!”

In one phrase, Bobby captured the whole meaning: “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I lack.” These words touch so many of us deeply. If we have trouble or fear, darkness and death and sickness, Jesus has our back—Jesus restores our strength, anoints my head with oil. To sum it up, the genuine meaning of Psalm 23 means, “God’s companionship transforms every situation.”

What does “God’s companionship” mean? Rappers have their peeps, sports stars have their crowds…but the companionship of God must be something different. The apostles were busy with “people coming and going” so Jesus calls them to rest in God’s companionship when he says, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

We all need a time of quiet listening, away from the noise and the crowds, in order to feel God comforting us as a companion and a shepherd. Have you felt God’s care lately? Or do you take your work with you, work too late at night, and fall exhausted into bed? If so—you do indeed need the Shepherd to help you set priorities. Taking time to really LIVE your life will make you and everyone you love healthier and happier.

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Thursday, July 26, is the Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, Grandparents of Jesus. Joachim and Anne serve as great examples of faith for all married couples, parents, and grandparents. Like several Biblical couples, they had difficulty conceiving a child. As time was running out, they desperately prayed to God to grant them a child. By strong faith and patience, God granted them their daughter Mary. St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples……Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

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

Joyfully in the Lord,

A Prayer to St. Joachim and St. Anne

Dear parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of our Savior Jesus Christ, bless all parents and grandparents and help them teach their children Christian values of faith and compassion. Bestow courage and hope upon couples who struggle to start their families. Guide new parents and bless parents of growing children with strength and understanding. And bless grandparents with wisdom and kindness.

We thank you for the example you set for us with your daughter Mary and grandson Jesus, and we strive to show the same love to our children and grandchildren.

May the strong foundation of faith you laid for Mary and her son Jesus always inspire us to guide our children and all future generations in their faith journeys with love and support. In God’s name we pray. Amen.



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

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 07.15.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

St. Paul tells us in today’s second reading that, “…In all wisdom and insight, [God] has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.” And our psalm proclaims that peace is God’s wish for us.

The picture that emerges from these Scripture readings is a world moving towards oneness.  God will eventually bring everything into unity.  It is clearly obvious that that time has not yet arrived.  We still struggle to understand each other.  Peace seems elusive in many parts of the world.  But God’s plan is still God’s plan. God wants us to move towards ever greater unity.  God wants all of creation to live in a marvelous harmony.

God is calling us to oneness.  That is the grand plan.  Part of seeing this bigger picture is to realize that our choices over time can lead either to greater unity or greater disunity.  The husband or wife who continually chooses to ignore the genuine needs of their spouse is slowly destroying the marriage relationship.  Marriages don’t fall apart in a month.  It takes many hundreds of selfish choices over a long period of time, which eventually breaks down that sacred union.  Every time you make a choice which pushes your partner further away from you, you are making a choice for separation, rather than for union.  The same process takes place with all our decisions.  

God’s plan for oneness and harmony must become our plan. As we live our lives, the vision of one harmonious creation must take root in our very character.  We are asked to be people who show by our very personalities that our wish is for people to come together as members of God’s one family.

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“We need a spirit of holiness capable of filling both our solitude and our service, our personal life and our evangelization efforts, so that every moment can be an expression of self-sacrificing love in the Lord’s eyes.  In this way, every minute of our lives can be a step along the path to growth in holiness” (Pope Francis, “On the Call to Holiness”, 31).

Welcome to all those visiting our parish this weekend and thank you for joining us in the celebration of the Eucharist and supporting our parish!  Enjoy these lazy, hazy, days of summer while they last. May you have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

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

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 07.08.18

Welcome, Fr. Chris!

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Three times I begged the Lord about this. That it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you. For power is made perfect in weakness.’ I would rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses…”

Are we not all plagued by difficulties and problems? Do we have the courage to turn to the Lord as Paul did especially in moments of crisis? The litany of his hardships, and those of most people far exceed the troubles which come my way. The source of Paul’s contentment is the remedy for our difficulties as well.

Fr. Christopher Dayton

His grace, His life, His power is available to us, especially in time of need. I only need to turn and express my dependence upon Him, to face whatever comes my way, the good and the bad. Weakness is certainly not the so called American way. Yet the secret is found in the Lord’s hidden presence if we but seek it and use it. May I repeat Paul’s mantra ‘I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.’ Paul did not give up and asked three times. Do I persevere?

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“To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.

“Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation “on the call to holiness” Gaudete et Exsultate 14, Latin for “rejoice and be glad”).

Welcome to all those visiting our parish this weekend as well as faithful “regulars!” Thank you joining us in the celebration of the Eucharist and for your support of our parish and schools. Have a good 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 today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,

 

 



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

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 07.01.18

Coming soon to St. Rose!
Fr. Christopher Dayton

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Have you ever heard these words at a funeral? “Well, it was just his (or her) time. God had wanted him (or her) up in heaven.” We might say this in an effort to comfort the suffering, or to make sense of an untimely death which simply seems unfair, inappropriate, or wrong.

The reason we think this is—death is all of these things! But to comfort someone, why not proclaim boldly as the first reading from Wisdom does today: “God did not make death.” And “God does not delight in the death of the living.”

Death was never part of God’s perfect plan for the creation. We were made in God’s image never to die. But “…Through the devil’s envy, death entered the world.” So death belongs to the devil, not to God. Death is evil, and it came through sin.

In the gospel today, Jesus tries to show us the far bigger picture. Yes, the individual healings are Jesus showing us God’s will and power to heal and bring new life; but that is the smaller picture because even those Jesus heals must still die. The bigger picture is to have faith in Jesus Himself, because The purpose of his life, death and rising is to reconnect the universe to God. “Your faith has saved you!”

Jesus’ miracles only point to the deeper healing by which Jesus overcomes the devil’s envy and the devil’s puny power in the world. Jesus, and only Jesus, can reinstate the perfect will of the Creator for the eternal life and wholeness of all creatures.

The Hospice Movement shows us how to grieve our losses—by witnessing to both life and death—sitting, listening, crying, laughing. And let us keep holding on to Jesus’ words “Do not fear, only believe.”

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Fr. Christopher Dayton

WELCOME to all those visiting our parish this weekend and thank you for joining us in the celebration of the Eucharist at St .Rose Church. Enjoy the Fourth of July holiday this Wednesday with your family and friends…please join us for Mass either at 6:45 or 9:00 a.m. as we thank God for the freedoms we enjoy as a nation and as we pray for our country. May God bless you and keep you always in His Love, and may God bless America!

Joyfully in the Lord,

A PRAYER FOR OUR NATION

Gracious and loving God, we come to you in humble prayer for the United States of America.

Bless our President. Give him wisdom and strength to serve the American people and lead our country in ways that are pleasing to you.

Bless our Congress. Instill in them knowledge and understanding to enact laws that protect the sanctity of life—from the unborn to the elderly; and promote the good of all people.

Bless the people of the United States. Make us aware of our responsibility as citizens to uphold the principles of life, liberty, justice, and equality.

Send your Holy Spirit upon our beloved country. Make us people of faith in time of uncertainty. Make us people of hope in times of trouble. Make us people of compassion with those who are less fortunate. Make us people of peace in our homes, our communities, our country, and our world.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.



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

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist – 06.24.18

Coming soon to St. Rose!
Fr. Christopher Dayton

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded His coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals on his feet. My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent.’”

The church celebrates the birth of three persons—Mary, Jesus and John the Baptist. We spent time with John, especially during Advent, recalling his conception, the meeting of his mother with Mary, and his ministry in the desert, preparing the way of the Lord. St. Paul today, in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, helps us focus on the role of John.

He was a ‘herald’ announcing the coming of the Messiah, an arrow pointing out the One he would call the ‘Lamb of God.’ The church today is the herald of the Good News. In the ‘Joy of the Gospel,’ Pope Francis points out that the kerygma, the announcement or proclamation of the Good News is vital for us today. We are to be like John the Baptist announcing, being the herald that we have salvation in the person of Jesus Christ. ‘Hear ye, hear ye.’

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Fr. Christopher Dayton

Friday, June 29 is the Feast of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. In a sermon in the year 395, St. Augustine of Hippo said of Sts. Peter and Paul: “Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles’ blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.” …..Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love! A special “Welcome” to all those who are visiting our parish this weekend!

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

Listen to my homily today:

Joyfully in the Lord,

  



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

Just Recompense – 06.17.18

SRGS Graduate

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”

In recent years we have heard calls for transparency and accountability. Whether in politics, the corporate world or the church, demands are being made on the activities of others. Judgments follow. The television is filled with many court cases being exposed and decisions made—guilty, not guilty, fines and recompense. That is entertainment.

St. Paul reminds us today that we all will experience the same accountability for reward or punishment. Sometimes we try to avoid finding ourselves as the subject of such scrutiny, yet it is only as a result of our goodness, our prayer life, our service to others, that the reward will come.

For many, it is quite convenient to pass over the idea of judgment. Maybe we should spend a moment to judge ourselves, ask forgiveness and reap the reward. Remember Matthew 25: “Come blessed of my Father inherit the Kingdom prepared for you…”

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[H]ave a restful and refreshing summer…Enjoy this Father’s Day, have a wonderful week, and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love

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

Listen to my homily this morning: (Posted after Mass)

Joyfully in the Lord,

PRAYER OF ST. JOHN XXIII FOR FATHERS

St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect all the fathers who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes. They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness. But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over them faithfully as you have done. Amen.

 



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

Sisters and Brothers – 06.10.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Jesus came home with his disciples…His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. A crowd seated around Him told Him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.’ But He said to them in reply, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and My mother.’”

What a wonderful description of the great homecoming. Sometimes welcomed, at other times scorned. Those who wanted to be with the Teacher had a lot to learn, and He added an important new dimension.

Jesus explicitly tells us of our relationship with Him. We are brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, some use this passage to speak of Mary having other children and even denying her virginity. Sadly, they miss the point.

Can you see the crowd, the circle of eager listeners, the sudden interruption, and then the fundamental teaching? I become a brother or sister of the Lord as I seek to know the will of God and put it into practice. My search, sometimes called discernment, allows me to establish in the words of Pope Francis a relationship with Jesus. As I am brother and sister to Him, I have the same relationship with others. How often St. Paul wrote to his brothers and sisters.

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May you have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Joyfully in the Lord,

PRAYER FOR PRIESTS

Mary, Mother of Jesus,

Throw your mantle of purity over our priests.

Protect them, guide them, and keep them in your heart.

Be a Mother to them, especially in times of discouragement and loneliness.

Love them and keep them belonging completely to Jesus.

Like Jesus, they too, are your sons, so keep their hearts pure and virginal.

Keep their minds filled with Jesus, and put Jesus always on their lips, so that he is the one they offer to sinners and to all they meet.

Mary, Mother of Jesus, be their Mother, loving them and bringing them joy.

Take special care of sick and dying priests, and the ones most tempted.

Remember how they spent their youth and old age, their entire lives serving and giving all to Jesus.

Mary, bless them and keep a special place for them in your hearts.

Give them a piece of your heart, so beautiful and pure and immaculate, so full of love and humility, so that they, too, can grow in the likeness of Christ.

Dear Mary, make them humble like you, and holy like Jesus. Amen.

  (St. Teresa of Calcutta)

Listen to Sr. Thérèse’s reflective reading fo today’s Gospel: 



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

“The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” – 06.03.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, which will be shed for many.  Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.  Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Although we may remember many moments in the life of Jesus, his words, His teaching, His miracles, His compassion for the needy and the poor, they have greater meaning when we consider what occurred in the Upper Room.  We know the details the supper recalling the Passover of the people of Israel.  But all this changed as the meal drew to a close. Did those gathered understand the significance of taking, blessing, thanking and giving, not just the contents on the plate or in the cup, but the one who was giving Himself?

We who share in the gift of the Eucharist, reflect on His desire to stay with us in such a special way.  We are privileged to take the gift as we say ‘Amen.’  We approach the gift with reverence, we receive communion with deep faith, offer our own Eucharist, our thanks, and then bring Him with us.  When I pass the tabernacle in St. Rose Church where the sacrament is reserved, I pause and thank Jesus that what He did was for me and all today.

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“In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life.  The Eucharist is the memorial of God’s love.  There, ‘[Christ’s] sufferings are remembered’ and we recall God’s love for us, which gives us strength and support on our journey.  This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good:  It is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love.  A memory that is both recollection and imitation” (Pope Francis, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, 2017).

As we celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), let us give thanks for the gift of the Eucharist, the Bread of everlasting life!  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