Sunday, May 3, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday May 4, 2020 - #Eucharist in Eastertide - Your Virtual Church

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279
Reading 1ACTS 11:1-18
The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
‘You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.”
Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,
“I was at prayer in the city of Joppa
when in a trance I had a vision,
something resembling a large sheet coming down,
lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me.
Looking intently into it,
I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,
the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky.
I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’
But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir,
because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
But a second time a voice from heaven answered,
‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’
This happened three times,
and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.
Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,
who had been sent to me from Caesarea.
The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating.
These six brothers also went with me,
and we entered the man’s house.
He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,
‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,
who will speak words to you
by which you and all your household will be saved.’
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them
as it had upon us at the beginning,
and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,
‘John baptized with water
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us
when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to be able to hinder God?”
When they heard this,
they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,
“God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”

Responsorial Psalm42:2-3; 43:3, 4
R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:14
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 10:11-18
Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”

Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint May 4 : St. Florian the Patron of Firefighters who Refused to Persecute Christians

Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, and many things associated with either fire or water. His feast day is celebrated on May 4. Saint Florian was born in the mid-third century A.D., perhaps around the year 250,somewhere around current-day Austria. He rose through the Roman army ranks to become a commander.
Besides his duties to the military, he was charged with leading the firefighting brigade of the day. Florian was a Christian in a time when the Roman emperors were trying to eliminate Christianity throughout their realm. At one point he was ordered to offer up a sacrifice to the Roman gods, something in which he did not believe.
Other stories state that he refused to participate in the ongoing persecution of Christians, in which the army had been ordered to participate. In either case, Florian's beliefs became known. When questioned, he again stated that he was a Christian.
The popular method of disposing of Christians in that day was to burn them to death, and it was suggested that Florian suffer the same fate. He, however, stated his intention to "climb to Heaven on the flames" of the funeral pyre being prepared for him. The soldiers decided at that point to dispense with him via another route: he was flogged, then flayed, then a large stone was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Ennis River to drown.
 A faithful lady recovered and buried his body, which was later moved to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near current-day Linz, Austria. In 1138 some of St. Florian's relics were given to King Casimir of Poland and the Bishop of Cracow. Since his relics arrived in Poland, he has beenregarded as the patron saint of that country. Because of his association with fire, St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters and chimney sweeps and has been invoked for protection from both fire and water. A statue of St. Florian installed at the front of the main firehouse in Vienna, Austria survived a 1945 bombing with barely a scratch.
Shared from
Prayer to St. Florian for Firefighters (Recited by Firefighters) Dear God, through the intercession of our patron, Saint Florian, have mercy on the souls of our comrades who have made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duty, and on all who have gone before us after years of faithful discharge of their responsibilities which now rest on ourselves. Give us Grace to prepare each day for our own summons to Thy tribunal of justice. Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my Spirit, wherever Thou callest me, I am ready to go. Merciful Father of all men, save me from all bodily harm, if it be thy will, but above all, help me to be loyal and true, respectful and honorable, obedient and valiant. Thus fortified by virtue, I shall have no fear, for I shall then belong to Thee and shall never be separated from Thee. Amen. 

Wow Former Doctor turned Dominican Seminarian Returns to Hospital to Work putting Priestly Studies on Hold

BBC News reports that a Dominican Priest named Fr. Christopher Gault has priestly studies on hold to return to medicine at a hospital. Soon after qualifying as a junior doctor in Belfast in 2014, Christopher Gault left medicine to study to be a priest. Although he is still continuing his studies as part of the Dominican Order, he decided to resume his medical duties while the Covid-19 pandemic continues. He is currently working as a junior doctor at the Mater Hospital in Belfast. He said: “I kind of felt that was the right thing to do at this time, I just want to help in any way I can.”
Brother Christopher is still a Dominican and will return to his duties among the Dominicans but for now he is helping where the need is greatest....
Please SHARE this Amazing True Story to Inspire!

Pope Francis explains "...different voices resonate within us...the voice of God, who speaks kindly to conscience, and there is the tempting voice that leads to evil..." Full Text/Video

Apostolic Palace Library
Sunday, May 3, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The fourth Sunday of Easter, which we celebrate today, is dedicated to Jesus the Good Shepherd. The Gospel says: "The sheep listen to his voice : he calls his sheep, each by name" ( Jn 10 : 3). The Lord calls us by name, calls us because he loves us. However, the Gospel says, there are other voices not to be followed: those of strangers, thieves and robbers who want the evil of the sheep.
These different voices resonate within us. There is the voice of God, who speaks kindly to conscience, and there is the tempting voice that leads to evil. How can we recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd from that of the thief, how can we distinguish the inspiration of God from the suggestion of the evil one? You can learn to discern these two voices: in fact they speak two different languages, that is, they have opposite ways to knock on our heart. They speak different languages. As we know how to distinguish one language from another, we can also distinguish the voice of God and the voice of the evil one. The voice of God never obliges: God proposes himself , he does not impose himselfInstead the bad voice seduces, assails, forces: it arouses dazzling illusions, tempting but passing emotions. At first it coaxes, makes us believe that we are omnipotent, but then leaves us with emptiness inside and accuses us: "You are worth nothing". The voice of God, on the other hand, corrects us, with much patience, but always encourages us, consoles us: it always nourishes hope. The voice of God is a voice that has a horizon, instead the voice of the bad guy takes you to a wall, takes you to the corner.

Another difference. The voice of the enemy distracts from the present and wants us to focus on the fears of the future or on the sadness of the past - the enemy does not want the present -: it brings back the bitterness, the memories of the wrongs suffered, of those who hurt us ..., many bad memories. Instead the voice of God speaks in the present: "Now you can do good, now you can exercise the creativity of love, now you can give up the regrets and remorse that hold your heart prisoner". It animates us, carries us forward, but speaks to the present: now.
Again: the two voices raise different questions in us. What comes from God will be: "What is good for me?". Instead the tempter will insist on another question: "What do I want to do?". What do I want: the bad voice always revolves around the self, its drives, its needs, everything and immediately . It's like children's whims: everything and now. The voice of God, however, never promises joy at low prices: it invites us to go beyond our selves to find true good, peace. Remember: evil never gives peace, puts frenzy before and leaves bitterness after. This is the style of evil.
Finally, the voice of God and that of the tempter speak in different "environments": the enemy prefers darkness, falsehood, gossip; the Lord loves sunlight, truth, sincere transparency. The enemy will say to us: "Close yourself, so nobody understands you and listens to you, don't trust!". On the contrary, the good invites us to open up, to be clear and confident in God and in others. Dear brothers and sisters, in this time many thoughts and concerns lead us to re-enter ourselves. We pay attention to the voices that reach our heart. Let's ask where they come from. We ask for the grace to recognize and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd, who brings us out of the precincts of selfishness and leads us to the pastures of true freedom. Our Lady, Mother of the Good Council, guide and accompany our discernment.
After the Regina Caeli
Dear brothers and sisters,
World Day of Prayer for Vocations is celebrated today Christian existence is always and always a response to the call of God, in any state of life. This Day reminds us of what Jesus said one day, namely that the field of the Kingdom of God requires a lot of work, and we must pray to the Father to send workers to work in his field (cf. Mt 9 : 37-38). Priesthood and consecrated life require courage and perseverance; and without prayer one does not go on this path. I invite everyone to invoke from the Lord the gift of good workers for his Kingdom, with the heart and hands available to his love.
Once again I would like to express my closeness to the sick of Covid-19, to those who dedicate themselves to their care to all those who, in any way, are suffering from the pandemic. At the same time, I wish to support and encourage the international collaboration that is taking place with various initiatives to respond adequately and effectively to the serious crisis we are experiencing. It is important, in fact, to bring together scientific skills, in a transparent and disinterested way, to find vaccines and treatments and to guarantee universal access to essential technologies that allow every infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary health care .
I address a special thought to the "Meter" Association, promoter of the National Day for children victims of violence, exploitation and indifference. I encourage managers and operators to continue their preventive and awareness-raising actions alongside the various educational agencies. And I thank the children from the Association who sent me a collage with hundreds of daisies colored by them. Thanks!
We have just started May, the Marian month par excellence, during which the faithful love to visit the Sanctuaries dedicated to the Madonna. This year, due to the health situation, we go spiritually to these places of faith and devotion, to place our concerns, expectations and plans for the future in the heart of the Holy Virgin.
And since prayer is a universal value, I accepted the proposal of the High Committee for Human Brotherhood so that believers of all religions will join spiritually on May 14th in a day of prayer and fasting and works of charity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Remember: on May 14, all believers together, believers of different traditions, to pray, fast and do works of charity.

I wish everyone a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.

FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Translation from Italian

Magnificent "Ave Maria" of F. Biebel sung by Acapella Choir Voces 8 in an Empty Church will Touch your Soul!

The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 sings a breathtaking Ave Maria by Franz Xaver Biebl. German composer Bieble was born in 1906 and died in 2001) was a German compose.
Share this Magnificent piece of Music to Inspire!
Lyrics Translated from Latin:
 Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
et concepit de Spiritu sancto.'
The angel of God visited Maria
and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

'Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.'
Hail Mary, Full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

'Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
Holy Mary, pray for us now and in the hour of our death.

At Mass, Pope Francis says "Jesus is the shepherd...who comes to save, to save the wandering sheep:" and Prays for Deceased Doctors and Priests - Full Text-Video

"The mildness and tenderness of the Good Shepherd"
Sunday, May 3, 2020

Three weeks after the Resurrection of the Lord, the Church today on the fourth Sunday of Easter celebrates the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Good Shepherd. This makes me think of many pastors who give their lives for the faithful in the world, even in this pandemic, many, more than 100 here in Italy have passed away. And I also think of other pastors who take care of the good of the people: the doctors. There is talk of doctors, of what they do, but we must realize that, only in Italy, 154 doctors have passed away, in the service. May the example of these pastor priests and "medical pastors" help us to take care of the holy faithful people of God.
The First Letter of the apostle Peter, which we have heard, is a step of serenity (cf. 2,20-25). He speaks of Jesus. He says: «He carried our sins in his body on the wood of the cross, so that, no longer living for sin, we would live for justice; from his wounds you have been healed. You were wandering like sheep, but now you have been brought back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls "(vv. 24-25).
Jesus is the shepherd - as Peter sees it - who comes to save, to save the wandering sheep: it was us. And in Psalm 22 that we read after this reading, we repeated: "The Lord is my shepherd: I lack nothing" (v.1). The presence of the Lord as shepherd, as shepherd of the flock. And Jesus, in chapter 10 of John, which we have read, presents himself as the shepherd. Indeed, not only the shepherd, but the "door" through which one enters the flock (cf. v.8). All those who came and did not enter through that door were thieves and brigands or wanted to take advantage of the flock: the fake shepherds. And in the history of the Church there have been many of these who exploited the flock. They were not interested in the flock, but in making a career or politics or money. But the flock knows them,
But when there is a good shepherd who carries on, there is precisely the flock that goes on. The good shepherd listens to the flock, leads the flock, treats the flock. And the flock knows how to distinguish between the shepherds, it is not wrong: the flock trusts the good Shepherd, trusts Jesus. Only the shepherd who looks like Jesus gives confidence to the flock, because He is the door . The style of Jesus must be the style of the shepherd, there is not another. But even Jesus the good shepherd, as Peter says in the first reading, "suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in his footsteps: he did not commit sin and found no deception on his mouth; insulted, he did not respond with insults, mistreated, he did not threaten revenge "( 1Pt 2,21-23). It was mild. One of the signs of the good shepherd is mildnessThe good shepherd is mild. A shepherd who is not mild is not a good shepherd. It has something hidden, because mildness shows itself as it is, without defending itself. Indeed, the shepherd is tender, has that tenderness of closeness , knows the sheep one by one by name and takes care of each one as if he were the only one, to the point that when he returns home after a day of work, tired, he realizes that he misses one, goes out to work again to look for it and [found it] carries it with him, carries it on his shoulders ( cf.Lk15.4-5). This is the good shepherd, this is Jesus, this is who accompanies us all on the journey of life. And this idea of ​​the shepherd, this idea of ​​the flock and the sheep, is an Easter idea. In the first week of Easter the Church sings that beautiful hymn for the newly baptized: "These are the new lambs", the hymn we heard at the beginning of the Mass. It is an idea of ​​community, of tenderness, of kindness, of meekness. It is the Church that wants Jesus, and He guards this Church.
This Sunday is a beautiful Sunday, it is a Sunday of peace, it is a Sunday of tenderness, of gentleness, because our Shepherd takes care of us. "The Lord is my shepherd: I lack nothing" ( Ps 22.1).
Spiritual communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul.
Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now,
at least spiritually come to my heart.
As already come, I embrace you and I join you all;
do not allow me to ever separate you from You.
Words at the end of the Mass
I would like to thank the ACLI association [Italian Christian Workers Associations] which has facilitated for us these beautiful statue of St. Joseph for us to accompany us on the feast of St. Joseph the worker.