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

Trinity Sunday – 05.27.18

Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!

Today we celebrate what we can easily call the central mystery at the core of our Christian beliefs, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It is one of those mysteries that we were probably told we wouldn’t be able to comprehend anyway, so we would simply have to take it on faith. But it is not a lack of faith which causes us to ask questions.

We have a sacred obligation to ask good questions, to read, pray, and ponder the possibilities—all in our quest to know God more deeply. In fact, the study of theology is defined as “faith seeking understanding.”

The most important thing is not HOW Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist as One—but WHY their life as One is crucial to OUR life. Because the Holy Trinity is the model of all love which exists in the world as we know it, and in the world beyond. Not a clinging, weak, dependent love…not a one-sided temporary or troubled love, like so many of the “loves” we have all experienced in our lives…but the richest, strongest, most glorious explosion and implosion of energy that has ever existed.

Often the relationships we call “love” are not worthy of the name. We are all burdened and blinded by the presence of evil in the world, so we mistake all kinds of phony things for love.

And kids, especially, listen to this. Maybe you have tried to get love by controlling others, by dressing or acting a certain way, or pretended to be needy to draw someone in. Then you are being a “poser”, lying to yourself and others.

Don’t lower your standards! Our guide to intimate relationships should be the real thing. Only the Trinity shows us the awesome ultimate bond that we should seek in all of our love relationships. Glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever!

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In Monmouth and Ocean Counties this Memorial Day Weekend, we are all encouraged to love one another as we celebrate the sacrifices made for our freedoms. At a time when division and polarization and prejudice seem to taint our society anew, we need to look deeply into our hearts again to renew our commitment to the freedoms that are ours to own and to share together as neighbors. Hatred and discrimination based on race or religion, national origin or culture or whatever distinguishes us from one another throughout this great land are the antithesis of our national heritage and our national motto”E pluribus unum…out of many, one.” They are also the antithesis of the cause of freedom for which those brave women and men whose memory we honor this weekend sacrificed and laid down their lives. Let us pray for peace in our nation and for those brave women and men who gave their lives in service to our country.

 PRAYER FOR MEMORIAL DAY

God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters. Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers)

May you enjoy this Memorial Day weekend and may God continue to 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: (Posted after Mass.)

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

Pentecost – 05.20.18

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

Pentecost is one of the most powerful and incredible feasts of our Church, but most of us probably know little about it. It is far more than “the birthday of the church.”

The apostles had been a bit like antsy little kids who’d been on a long, three-year car trip with Jesus, tired and stressed out, full of questions and fears and wonderings. In their darkest depths of fear, the risen Lord Jesus now fulfills his promises that he will bestow the Holy Spirit upon them, “(who) will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.” (John 14:26).

Jesus’ action of breathing the Holy Spirit into the disciples was the very purpose and power of the Resurrection—because it is the way in which the world would be transformed forever.

Think of it this way: Yes, there will be a future moment when Christ comes again to close this era in time and to bring all creation to fullness in eternity. But, since the day of Pentecost, we are now living in the era of the Holy Spirit.

We Christians aren’t the only ones who want to see the miracle of a new age of peace and unity. God has created all of us with this hunger, this craving to belong to the family of God for all time.

Today the Spirit is breathing over the universe in a new way. But God respects time and history—God works in and through our histories, and it is not yet the fullness of time for Christ to come again. This is still the Era of the Spirit. And we are still called just as the disciples were to get out of our locked rooms—to leave our fears of the future behind in the past, and to live with the boldness of the Spirit in the present.

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“Come, Holy Spirit!”

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

A PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

“I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctuary of your baptized soul which is the temple of the Holy Spirit speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him: O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your Will. If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the Gate of Paradise laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity” (Cardinal Mercier).

Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth! 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