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.


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,


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

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