God is love, and He revealed that love in sending His only Son to be a sacrificial offering for our sins. In these words from today’s Epistle, we should hear an echo of the story of Abraham’s offering of Isaac at the dawn of salvation history. Because Abraham obeyed God’s command and did not with-hold his only beloved son, God promised that Abraham’s descendants, the children of Israel, would be the source of blessing for all nations (see Genesis 22:16-18).
We see that promise coming to fulfillment in today’s First Reading. God pours out His Spirit upon the Gentiles, the non-Israelites, as they listen to the word of Peter’s preaching. Notice they receive the same gifts received by the devout Jews who heard Peter’s preaching at Pentecost—the Spirit comes to rest upon them and they speak in tongues, glorifying God (see Acts 2:5-11).
In his love today, God reveals that His salvation embraces the house of Israel and peoples of all nations. Not by circumcision or blood relation to Abraham, but by faith in the Word of Christ, sealed in the sacrament of baptism, peoples are to be made children of Abraham, heirs to God’s covenants of promise (see Galatians 3:7-9; Ephesians 2:12).
This is the wondrous work of God that we sing of in today’s Psalm. It is the work of the Church, the good fruit that Jesus chooses and appoints His apostles for in today’s Gospel.
As Peter raises up Cornelius today, the Church continues to lift all eyes to Christ, the only one in whose name they can find salvation.
In the Church, each of us has been begotten by the love of God. But the Scriptures today reveal that this divine gift brings with it a command and a duty. We are to love one another as we have been loved. We are to lay down our lives in giving ourselves to others—that they too might find friendship with Christ, and new life through Him.
The celebration of Good Shepherd Sunday is an opportunity to
pray that the Lord will raise up more people to inspire the Church as priests
and consecrated women and men. This is a moment of prayer for these specific
vocations and these resources are offered to help you foster that prayer.
The focus this year is on how a vocation to be a religious
or a priest changes not only the life of the person called but also the life of
those to whom they will minister. Above all, this is a moment to invite
everyone to be involved in the process of changing lives through their prayer
for vocations. Coupled with the nurturing atmosphere in their homes, parishes
and schools this will enable those who are called to respond to such a
Everybody is involved in the work of this Sunday, a time of
grace for all the faithful as we pray together that the Lord will change lives
by raising up more ordained and consecrated people.
WHEN A PERSON ACCEPTS
THE CALL OF CHRIST to be a priest or a religious, their life is changed.
But so are the lives of thousands of people who will be touched through their
ministry. Lives are changed through the preaching of a priest, through the care
of a religious sister or brother, through the prayers offered by enclosed nuns
and monks. In these ways, a life changed in turn changes many lives. Completing
this virtuous circle is the prayer of lay people for vocations to the
priesthood and religious life, combined with the encouragement of those they
know who are considering such a vocation. This too can change a life.
Our good friend, the American Catholic biblical scholar, Dr. Scott Hahn, presents us with the
following thoughts regarding today’s readings.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, teaches His apostles how to interpret the
Scriptures. He tells them that all the Scriptures of what we now call the Old
Testament refer to Him. He says that all the promises found in the Old
Testament have been fulfilled in His passion, death, and resurrection. And He
tells them that these Scriptures foretell the mission of the Church - to preach
forgiveness of sins to all the nations, beginning at Jersusalem.
In today’s First Reading and Epistle, we see the beginnings
of that mission. And we see the apostles interpreting the Scriptures as Jesus
taught them to.
God has brought to fulfillment what He announced beforehand
in all the prophets, Peter preaches. His sermon is shot through with Old
Testament images. He evokes Moses and the exodus, in which God revealed himself
as the ancestral God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (see Exodus 3:6,15).
identifies Jesus as Isaiah’s suffering servant who has been glorified (see
John, too describes Jesus in Old Testament terms. Alluding to
how Israel’s priests offered blood sacrifices to atone for the people’s sins
(see Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9-10), he says that Jesus intercedes for us before
God (see Romans 8:34), and that His blood is a sacrificial expiation for the
sins of the world (see 1 John 1:7).
Notice that in all three readings, the Scriptures are
interpreted to serve and advance the Church’s mission - to reveal the truth
about Jesus, to bring people to repentance, the wiping away of sins, and the
perfection of their love for God.
This is how we, too, should hear the Scriptures. Not to know
more “about” Jesus, but to truly know Him personally, and to know His plan for
our lives. In the Scriptures, the light of His face shines upon us, as
we sing in today’s Psalm. We know the wonders He has done throughout history.
And we have the confidence to call to Him, and to know that He hears and
I do hope that we may all be inspired to read the scriptures
so as to broaden our understanding of God’s word and his purpose? To this extent
we shall resume our Scripture Study sessions from the first week in May -
Thursday afternoon’s, 3-4pm in the meeting room at St Peter’s Eastwood.
information on the EWTN website and make the prayers, attitudes,
and practices presented a real part of your life, so that you
may come to trust completely in God and live each day
immersed in His merciful love — thus fulfilling the Lord's
command to let your life "shine before people, so that they
will see the good things you do and praise your Father in
Heaven" (Mt 5:16).
The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
How to Recite the Chaplet
The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.
1. Make the Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. Optional Opening Prayers
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
3. Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
4. Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
5. The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
6. The Eternal Father
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
8. Repeat for the remaining decades
Saying the "Eternal Father" (6) on the "Our Father" bead and then 10 "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" (7) on the following "Hail Mary" beads.
9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
10. Optional Closing Prayer
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.