01.21.18

Bob & Nancy, 37th Wedding Anniversary

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Are you a chocoholic? Studies say that “Chocolate is the most commonly craved food in North America,” and each person consumes about 11 pounds each year. If you can understand that kind of craving, you will also understand God sending out prophets and eventually God’s own Son to call people’s attention to what is really worth craving.

Jesus came to show us the truth of how God is: “…a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, relenting from evil,” (Jon. 4:2). But we don’t seem to get it. In the gospel today, Jesus is again begging us to “Repent, and believe the good news” about how God really is, because the fullness of what God wants for us—the kingdom of God—is close at hand, if we would just recognize it.

Loving Embrace

But if God’s love is really good news, why does Jesus have to beg us to believe it? Because there is still evil in the world, so we need help to recognize what is best for us. This is the way God’s love works: when someone recognizes their faults and wrongdoing, when they sincerely ask for pardon, God’s mercy is there before they can get the words out.

God has a constant craving for us to leave our hurt feelings and anger behind, and come home to be fed lavishly at the table of love and forgiveness. In our confusion, some of us try to find a deeper fulfillment by mistakenly leaving our marriage, or our church. Mostly, we forget that God has a deep craving for our wholeness and holiness. Jesus says this simply, “The time has come: Repent—that means, turn around, come toward me—and believe the Good News, that God loves you and wants you back.”
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“From the outset, conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical, and which neither limits nor hinders God’s gift…Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming His disciple” (St. John Paul II).

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,



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

01.14.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“How long does it take to fall in love?” This is a pointless question, because such huge realities as love and death are part of an eternal life process. They are woven into a huge tapestry that includes both time AND eternity.

Still, there are certain moments when God seems to interrupt everyday life to speak to us in a special way. Maybe you narrowly escape a head-on collision; or your child becomes critically ill; or your closest friend or partner dies too soon. It is as if a kaleidoscope has been shaken, and all the pieces of your life have been rearranged into a different picture. If we’re listening, God can use these moments to deepen our virtues—to increase our patience, our courage…to expand our wisdom…or to shock some part of us out of dullness and routine, and back into life. Whether we’re young or old, God is still calling us, not just into a job, or a new career, but to a constant “re-weaving” of the tapestry of our lives.

“In the name of the Father…”

How is God calling your name these days? It has nothing to do with your age or your experience. I repeat—even if you are raising four kids, or already retired after 30 years on the job—do you realize that God is still calling your name with as much love and enthusiasm and challenge as before you were born? And are you listening?

Perhaps your call is to be more honest—to quiet yourself—to be more generous, or patient…to believe more passionately…to love without judgment. As we approach the Eucharist today, try saying, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” And then really listen this week.

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

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

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

Prayer for the Sanctity of Life

Heavenly Father, through whom and for whom all things were created, we pray that your gift of human life will be protected from the instant of its natural conception until by your holy will you require that it return to you. May those who have a duty to care for life realize that it is you who cherish and sustain each unique individual human being at every moment of its existence.

Father of Christ, you sanctified life in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. You sent your only-begotten Son that all might merit to receive everlasting life. Teach us so to reverence all human life that we will dutifully safeguard and nurture each precious person until we are called to be with you forever. This we ask through Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, to him be the glory. Amen.

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Epiphany of the Lord – 01.07.18

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

To be honest, we really know very little historical information about the three Wise Men. Most of the popular ideas about them came from stories and paintings from much earlier generations. Some recent vivid and joyful images come from the Glan Carlo Menotti operetta, “Amahl and the Night Visitor.”

Our images of Mary and Jesus also need refreshment from time to time. Before he was elected Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said, “The images of Christ and the saints are not photographs. Their whole point is to lead us beyond what we can be apprehended at the merely material level, to awaken new senses in us, and to teach us a new kind of seeing, which perceives the Invisible in the visible.”

The Quinn Family

These are indeed wise words. In today’s world, religious images don’t just hang on museum walls, but fly around from comic books to newspapers, on videos from YouTube, Facebook, on late night television, or passed around on people’s BlackBerries and cell phones. We may not like these images, but we can’t live in a fortress, trying to avoid them. We urgently have to develop what Pope Benedict XV called “a new kind of seeing,” going behind the visible to the Invisible, so that we can grab the good and helpful meanings, and leave behind whatever is vulgar, destructive, or simply stupid.

The Williams Family

Like us, the Jews of Jesus’ time had difficulty looking beyond the visible, to the Invisible: God lies here in the flesh! Christ has finally appeared as the salvation of the whole creation! The Magi symbolize those of us who have eyes to see, who rush to offer our gifts with humility. As the bumper sticker says, “Wise men and women still seek him.”

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

“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.”

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

Joyfully in the Lord,

 

 

 

 



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

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 12.31.17

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

“They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout waiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regards to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace.”

How often have we attended a baptism, as parent, godparent, big brother or sister, relative or friend? Some assumed the role of Joseph and Mary, others that of Simeon, or Anna who prayed. Whatever our role, we are called to recognize the special presence of the Christ as they did. Joseph protected, Mary reflected, Simeon prayed and praised. We, too.

Pope Francis in his exhortation “The Joy of Love” provides a terrific teaching as we bring one year to a close and turn the page to a new year of grace. He says, “Family prayer is a special way of expressing and strengthening this paschal faith. A few minutes can be found each day to come together before the living God to tell him our worries, to ask for the needs of our family, to pray for someone experiencing difficulty, to ask for help in showing love, to give thanks for life and for its blessings and ask Our Lady to protect us beneath her maternal mantle. With a few simple words, this moment of prayer can do immense good for our families.”

As we hear of all the new year’s resolutions may we see this is as our priority.

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A very happy and blessed new year 2018 to all! In my name, in the name of Father Walter Quiceno, Msgr. Tom Salemi, Fr. Dave Baratelli, our deacons, Sisters of St. Joseph, parish trustees and parish staff, the administrations and staffs of St. Rose Grammar School, Religious Education, and St. Rose High School, we wish you and your family a New Year rich in many blessings from God who is the source of every grace and blessing! Good health, happiness and holiness to you in this New Year. Thank you for all you do for St. Rose Parish and Schools. May God bless you and keep you always in His love today, tomorrow, and every day of this New Year!

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

Listen to my homily today:

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 my sacred path to You. Amen.

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Fourth Sunday of Advent – 12.24.17

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Do not fear Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son, and give Him the name Jesus. Great will be His dignity and He will be called Son of the Most High.”

The great moment in the history of salvation, began with the visit of the angel Gabriel and the invitation to be the mother of Jesus. It is not surprising that Mary hesitated, questioned and then consented. Wouldn’t you? Her response ‘I am the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say’ redirected the course of human history.

The celebration of the Bethlehem event tonight, allows us not just to recall what happened, but to imitate Mary and permit the Lord to touch our lives in a truly special way. Our traditions and customs are rich as we relive Jesus entering our lives again. The Simbang Gabi celebration of Filipino Catholics or Las Posadas of Latin Catholics lead us to the stable cave to meet and adore the Lord of history, the Lord of today. We have been praying ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ for the four weeks of Advent. Today, we welcome Him with joy.

As we celebrate this special night, may we be ready to open our door not just to Joseph and Mary, but Christ who comes to us.

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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

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

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,

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 command; 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

 



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

Third Sunday of Advent – 12.17.17


Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

You probably know that Disneyland, the home of Mickey Mouse and Minnie and all their friends, is called “the happiest place on earth.” Yet some people think Disneyland represents a false, shallow, or materialistic version of reality—surely it could bear no resemblance to the Gospel message? But when Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney said he wanted “this happy place…(to be) a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Walt Disney himself had the opposite of a happy childhood—abuse, school failures, and later business failures. But his life’s dream was always to bring people back to their original innocence and joy in living, to restore happiness. “The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be. In my work I try to reach and speak to that innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living…showing it that the human species, although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the stars.” Today, we hear a similar message in our Scripture readings: Isaiah saying, “Rejoice! I’ve got good news for the poor!” Mary saying, “My spirit rejoices in God,” and Paul giving advice on how to live with deep happiness. We would love to be this joyful, but the pursuit of happiness seems like a struggle. We wonder, “How is it possible to be truly joyful in this world?”

It is simple. The saints can be happy for one reason: they pour ALL their joys and ALL their tragedies into the one place big enough to hold every memory in existence forever—God’s heart. It is God’s heart that loved YOU into existence. As time draws near to hear the Christmas story again, it is good to recall how that story will “end”—that the power of Jesus’ Resurrection “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, bring mourners joy!”
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“In many paintings [of the Annunciation], Mary is depicted seated before the Angel with a small book. This book is the Scripture. Thus Mary was usually listening to God and dwelling on Him. Her secret was the Word of God: close to her heart, who then took flesh in her womb. By remaining with God, conversing with him in every circumstance, Mary made her life beautiful. Not appearance, not what passes, but a heart pointed to God is what makes life beautiful” (Pope Francis, December 8, 2017). May you have a good week and may God bless and love you, and Mary watch over you, and keep you always in their loving care!

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

Second Sunday of Advent – 12.10.17

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

We have some themes going in the Scriptures today that might make you very happy—such as Isaiah’s very first word: “Comfort!” The word itself is soothing, as in “comfort food.” Well, today Isaiah brings out the comfort food for the soul. “Comfort, console my people,” says God, because the punishments the Israelites received for being unfaithful to God are finally over. Today, as we get closer to the coming of Jesus, Isaiah’s theme is: “Clear a pathway through the desert—even out the rough places—and shout it out: Your God is here!”

Carter and Colleen B.

How are we doing at cleaning up the wilderness of our hearts for the Lord God to enter in? Many times, our hearts can feel as numb and empty as a wilderness—maybe we just hear an echo, as if we’re praying in a void. At other times, we feel so choked with the injustice and cruelty in the world that we don’t realize our hearts are like weed-infested gardens that desperately need clearing out. So it is when John pours water over the baptized at the River Jordan. Their eyes were opened, and they see new hope for their futures. They are so eager to clear out the dirt and weeds of their old lives, that they begin to pour out their sins, repenting, and become eager to change.

What is your idea of repentance? Remember that Isaiah says, “Jesus is like a shepherd…gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast…” Don’t we all feel better when someone we’ve hurt wraps their arms around us and says, “It’s okay—it’s forgotten?” The Sacrament of Reconciliation offers that comfort in the name of Jesus. And when we ask to be changed, Jesus calls us to return to new life by receiving him into our hearts in Communion. Now, THAT’S comfort food.

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Mike & Lucille McC.

A PRAYER FOR ADVENT

“Look on us, Jesus and let all the darkness of our souls disappear from the beams of your brightness. Fill us with your holy love, and open to us the treasures of your wisdom. You know all our desires, so bring to perfection what you have started, and what the Holy Spirit has weakened us to ask in prayer. We seek your face, turn your face to us, and show us your glory. Then our longing will be satisfied and our peace will be perfect. Amen” (St. Augustine).

Let us prayer for one another and for our parish family during this Advent season and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

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

Listen to my Homily at Mass today:

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

First Sunday of Advent – 12.03.17

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

“Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Be constantly on watch, stay awake. You do not know the appointed time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge each with his own task, and he orders the man at the gate to watch with a sharp eye. Look around you.’”

We begin a new season of grace, the wonderful time of preparing the way of the Lord, recalling His coming in history, His abiding presence among us now, and looking to discover the way He enters our lives. This year we have four full weeks of Advent.

Like the person in Mark’s gospel, the Lord has entrusted each of us with distinct, yet important tasks. My work is different from others, and if I fail to do it, it will remain undone. How am I going to begin this time of prayer?

Father Ed with our Confirmandi

I can make a resolution not to get caught up only with the material things in our consumer oriented society. My prayer with my family, my reflection on the scriptures, will certainly point me in the right direction. As I consider what I am going to do, I want to include others, the elderly, the sick and the poor, those alone or lonely, to make their lives better. They are part of God’s gift for me to take care of.

May the closing words of the Bible become my mantra each day, simply repeating three words prayerfully ‘Come Lord Jesus.’

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Let us not make Advent a time of frantic stress but a spiritual season of expectant joy of the Christ who comes to us in so many ways. May God bless you and keep you always in His Love… let us pray for one another in our parish during this holy season of Advent. Come, Lord, Jesus!

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

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

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Feast of Christ the King – 11.26.17

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Mercy, mercy, mercy! There is today’s Gospel in a nutshell. Allow those words to be the ultimate guide for your life and all will be well. I’m not fooling. That’s it..mercy, mercy, mercy. I’m not talking about God’s mercy. I’m talking about you and I being merciful to one another.

The Tonzola Children & Friends

We sometimes think that religion is about believing the right things, and that if we believe the right things we are safe. But that’s not the way it is. Rather our faith seems to be about awareness, about having our eyes opened to the real world, and responding with mercy and compassion to it.

If we follow a very basic guideline, we won’t have any need to live in fear that our neglect will outweigh the good we have done. Whenever we find ourselves face to face with a person in need, we must respond to that person as best we can. At times, we will not be able to fill the empty hearts or empty stomachs of everyone we meet. But we can be at peace if we know that we have reached deep within ourselves, and offered the best we have to those in need.

We all have different capacities to love and to give. Each of us needs to be aware of our limitations, but we also need to be aware of our possibilities. At times, we sell ourselves short, thinking that we can’t do very much in this world to help make things better. That’s a thought we need to get rid of at the first opportunity. Every single person has something irreplaceable to give to another person. We all have something we can offer to some other person that will make a difference in that person’s life.

As St. Teresa of Calcutta has written: We need to discover “Christ in his distressing disguise.”
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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 Your 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 universe. Amen.

Enjoy this beautiful Feast of Christ the King. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!

Listen to Sr. Donna’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

“Stay awake.” – 11.12.17

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Dear Parish Family,

“’Go instead to the merchants and buy some oil for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the doors were locked. Afterwards the others came and said, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

The Dowd Children

How often we hear the expression, “this is a wakeup call.” It might call us to study harder, begin a healthier life style, or even to express gratitude for escaping an accident or tragedy.

The parable of Jesus, who many have read this year, is directed to me today. How ready and prepared am I to accompany the Lord, who is walking with me today? The lamp oil is God’s grace. Is it burning in me, at this moment? If the battery is low, where can I have it recharged? God’s grace we find in the sacraments.

The Campbells

How often we have been offered the example of a door, as opening the door of our hearts to the Lord, or He Himself knocking at the door wanting to enter. He is the gatekeeper. A door allows entrance to another place.

Don’t put off applying the parable to your own spiritual life. It is my wakeup call.

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PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

Loving God, author of grace and mercy, You call us through our baptism in the Spirit to continue the mission of your beloved Son, Jesus. Open us to listen attentively for your invitation. Empower us to respond to your call. Inspire women and men to follow the path of service. Together may we build up the Church to be a vibrant sign of your presence in our world. We offer this prayer in the name of your Son, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May you 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