Fourth Sunday of Advent – 12.23.18

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby stirred in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out in a loud voice: ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’… ‘Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.’”

What a wonderful family reunion. Two expectant mothers meeting, greeting, celebrating imminent births. St. Luke points out the presence of the Holy Spirit, even before the Pentecost event. The question posed by Elizabeth ‘who am I?’…can be changed for us today.

Who am I that my Lord and Savior should come to me? A loving Father saw our need, and in concern for us, sent, not the mother or our Savior, but the saving Lord Himself. How frequently we pray the words of Luke in the Hail Mary. As we complete our Advent may the question of Elizabeth, and my question be answered.

As we approach the feast of the birth of Christ this week, may we live the visitation event, greeting others in the name of the Lord, recognizing His presence among us in our needy world. The two holy women rejoiced in Christ’s presence, and so do we. Reflect for a few moments on the biblical basis of the Hail Mary.

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In my name, in the name of Father Christopher Dayton, Msgr. Tom Salemi, Fr. Dave Baratelli, our deacons, Sisters of St. Joseph, Sr. Donna D’Alia, RSM, parish trustees, staff, as well as Mr. John Tonero, Principal of St. Rose High School, Mr. Greg Guito, Principal of St. Rose Grammar School, our faculties and staffs, we wish you and your family a Christmas filled with the blessings of peace, joy, and love among your family, friends, and loved ones. 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 to all!

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 commands; 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

Listen to my homily today: 

Joyfully in the Lord,



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

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