Sunday, April 25, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, April 26, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279
Reading I
Acts 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 Psalm
42:2-3; 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.
Jn 10:14
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 10:1-10
Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Prayer to Make a 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 may 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

Feast April 26 : Our Lady of Good Counsel with Short History and Novena Prayer to Share!

Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called "La Madonna del Paradiso" and now better known as "Madonna del Buon Consiglio", appeared at Genazzano, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day, 25 April, 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without the slightest apparent support; thus early tradition, which furthermore tells how one might have passed a thread around the image without touching it. At once devotion to Our Lady inSanta Maria sprang up; pilgrim-bands began to resort thither; while miracles in ever-increasing numbers, of which a register was opened two days after the event, were wrought, as they still continue to be, at the shrine. In July following, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image. Their report, however, is not known to be extant. The cult of Our Lady increased. In 1630 Urban VIII himself went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage, as didPius IX in 1864. On 17 November, 1682, Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by theVatican Basilica. In 1727 Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass ofOur Lady for 25 April, anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July, 1753, Benedict XIVapproved of the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and was himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pius IX was a member, and also Leo XIII. On 18 December, 1779, Pius VI, while re-approving the cult of Our Lady, granted all Augustinians anOffice with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December, 1884, Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for allAugustinians, while on 17 March, 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria — one of the four parish churches at Genazzano — to the rank of minor basilica; and, on 22 April following, authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation "Mater Boni Consillii" to follow that of "Mater Admirabilis". The same pontiff, ten years earlier (21 December, 1893) hadsanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful. In theUnited States there are many churches and institutions in honour of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

FEAST APRIL 26 (A novena is a prayer to be said for 9 days - usually 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be is said each day)

Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.

Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.

Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.

(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)

RIP Fr. Livinius Nnamani - Death of Catholic Priest who Pope Francis Permitted to be Ordained in Hospital with Cancer - VIDEO - Vocation Story!

 The newly ordained, Fr. Livinius Esomchi Nnamani, has died. Pope Francis approved his early ordination, as a seminarian sick with Leukemia in hospital.

The young Nigerian religious, Livinius Nnamani, was ordained a priest on April 1st, 2021, in Rome, after the Pope gave his approval for his early ordination. 

The 31-year-old had written to the Holy Father requesting to move forward his ordination, and was granted his wish. Bishop Daniele Libanori, an Auxiliary bishop of Rome, ordained Livinius a priest at the Presidio Sanitario Medica Group Casilino Hospital in Rome.

Recently-ordained Fr. Livinius began his vocation journey in Owerri, Imo state, in Southeastern Nigeria, when he entered the Order of the Mater Dei, at age 20.

Shortly after his first vows, Livinius was diagnosed with Leukemia, begining a period of therapies and treatments for the young religious. Two years ago, he was sent to Italy in search of better healthcare and to continue his studies.

Despite the transfusions and treatments, Livinius continued his studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, better known as the Angelicum, and pronounced his final vows last September.

Livinius made the decision to write to Pope Francis, asking him to bring forward his ordination. The reply came quickly on the 31st of March: Pope Francis gave his permission. The following day, Livinius was ordained a priest.

“With this gift,” Bishop Libanori said during his homily, “God the Father wants to sustain you so that you can fully live the trial to which he called you.”

“As a priest, you will be joined with Jesus to make your body an offering pleasing to God. Our priesthood, indeed, reaches its peak when together with the bread and wine, we know how to offer all of ourselves, the things the Lord has given us, and our very lives.”

Fr. Livinius has began his priestly ministry at the Casilino hospital, where he gave his blessing to the doctors and nurses who care for him and other patients on a daily basis.

He was a priest only for 23 days, but he will be for eternity, because this is the sacrament of Holy Orders which conforms man with Christ the priest, who offers himself to himself as a sacrifice.

Fr. Livinius used what little strength he had left to celebrate Mass from his bed.  Aware that he was dying, Father Livinus asked for a confessor and received communion.

Peaceful and in the company of his community, the African priest Livinus Esomchi Nnamani, 31 years old, died in Rome.

Wow NASA Astronaut Colonel Michael S. Hopkins, Brings Eucharist to Space Station "For me, it was extremely important to know that Jesus was with me..." VIDEO

 Astronaut brings Jesus, in the Eucharist to space station. Colonel Michael S. Hopkins was given permission to bring the Blessed Sacrament with him and has been able to receive Communion while in space. In this reflection, he is commentating on the Gospel of John 6:52-59.(see Video of Col. Michael below) Col. Hopkins is a convert to the Catholic faith. He is married with 2 sons.
Colonel Michael S. Hopkins, U.S. Space Force NASA Astronaut, wrote on the Notre Dame Website, "We all reflect on the Gospel from our own perspectives, informed by our own experiences and situated in our unique places in God’s creation. I have the privilege of reflecting on this passage from the Gospel of John while aboard the International Space Station, orbiting the planet earth once every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. On November 15th, 2020, I launched as the Commander of the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, and subsequently arrived at the International Space Station where I am serving as Flight Engineer for Expedition 64."
He went on to explain,  "this mission has been an amazing opportunity for me to contribute to the shared human endeavor of space exploration and also a profound occasion for personal reflection in my life of faith. Being in space gives a person the ability to see the world in a unique way. When I see the earth from this vantage point, it’s just breathtaking, and I feel like, when I look down, I see the canvas of God’s creation in all its beauty. But today’s reading reminds us that God also sees the world from our perspective, through the human eyes of his son, Jesus, who lived among us. Our God does not remain far above us in the heavens; our God comes to us as flesh and blood."
The Colonel continued, "Jesus continues to dwell among us through the gift of his Body and Blood, and today’s gospel is a central text for our Catholic faith in the Eucharist. I was very fortunate to be able to bring the Eucharist with me on this mission, and I receive communion on a weekly basis. Most notably, I received communion before I went out on my space walks to work on the station. For me, it was extremely important to know that Jesus was with me in those situations. His presence helped me step out into space. The gospel reading today is likewise asking us to step into the unknown. Jesus tells us, “my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.” Can we take the step to embrace this mystery through faith? Right now, I can see the earth from above and the vastness of space beyond, but I feel the power of this mystery most significantly because the Lord of all creation floats weightlessly in a pyx beside me." (Source: FaithND - Reflection)

Pope Francis Ordains 9 Men to the Priesthood and Says "But first of all be close to God, with prayer." FULL TEXT Homily + Mass Video

 HOLY MASS WITH PRIESTLY ORDINATIONS - Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Good Shepherd Sunday, and ordains 9 men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rome.

The nine deacons ordained to the priesthood were: Georg Marius Bogdan, Salvatore Marco Montone, Manuel Secci, Diego Armando Barrera Parra, Salvatore Lucchesi, Giorgio de Iuri, Riccardo Cendamo, Samuel Piermarini, and Mateus Henrique Ataide da Cruz.


St. Peter's Basilica - IV Easter Sunday, 25 April 2021

Dear brothers, these children of ours have been called to the order of the presbyterate. Let us carefully consider what ministry they will be elevated to in the Church.

As you know, brothers, the Lord Jesus is the only high priest of the New Testament; but in him also all the holy people of God were constituted a priestly people.  Nonetheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wanted to choose some in particular, so that by publicly exercising the priestly office in the Church in his name in favor of all men, they would continue his personal mission as teacher, priest and pastor.

After mature reflection, we are now about to raise these brothers to the order of presbyters, so that in the service of Christ the teacher, priest and pastor they cooperate in building the body of Christ, which is the Church, into the people of God and the holy temple of the Spirit.

As for you, beloved children, who are about to be promoted to the order of the presbyterate, consider that by exercising the ministry of sacred doctrine you will participate in the mission of Christ, the only teacher. You will be shepherds like him, this is what he wants of you. Shepherds. Shepherds of the holy faithful people of God. Shepherds who go with the people of God: sometimes in front of the flock, sometimes in the middle or behind, but always there, with the people of God.

At one time - in the language of the past - there was talk of the "ecclesiastical career", which did not have the same meaning as it does today. This is not a "career": it is a service, a service like that which God has done to his people. And this service of God to his people has "traces", it has a style, a style that you must follow. Style of closeness, style of compassion and style of tenderness. This is God's style. Closeness, compassion, tenderness.

The vicinity. The four neighborhoods of the priest are four. Closeness to God in prayer, in the sacraments, in the Mass. Talk to the Lord, be close to the Lord. He made himself close to us in his Son. The whole story of his Son. He has also been close to you, to each of you, on the path of your life up to this moment. Even in the bad times of sin, it was there. Nearness. Be close to the holy faithful people of God. But first of all close to God, with prayer. A priest who does not pray slowly extinguishes the fire of the Spirit within. Closeness to God.

Second: closeness to the Bishop, and in this case to the "Vice Bishop". Stay close, because in the Bishop you will have unity. You are, I don't mean servants - you are God's servants - but collaborators of the Bishop. Nearness. I remember once, a long time ago, a priest who had the misfortune - so to speak - of making a "slip" ... The first thing I had in mind was to call the Bishop. Even in bad times he calls the Bishop to be close to him. Closeness to God in prayer, closeness to the Bishop. “But I don't like this Bishop…”. But he's your father. "But this Bishop treats me badly ...". Be humble, go to the Bishop.

Third: closeness between you. And I suggest you a resolution to make this day: never speak badly of a brother priest. If you have something against another, be men, you have pants: go there, and tell him to his face. "But this is a very bad thing ... I don't know how he will take it ...". Go to the Bishop, who helps you. But never, never gossip. Don't be talkative. Don't fall into gossip. Unity among you: in the presbyteral council, in the commissions, at work. Closeness between you and the Bishop.

And fourth: for me, after God, the most important closeness is to the holy faithful people of God. None of you studied to become a priest. You have studied the ecclesiastical sciences, as the Church says it must be done. But you were chosen, taken from the people of God. The Lord said to David: "I have taken the flock away from you". Do not forget where you came from: of your family, of your people ... Do not lose the sense of the people of God. Paul said to Timothy: "Remember your mother, your grandmother ...". Yes, where did you come from. And that people of God… The author of the Letter to the Hebrews says: “Remember those who introduced you to the faith”. Priests of the people, not clerics of state!

The four closeness of the priest: closeness with God, closeness with the Bishop, closeness between you, closeness with the people of God. The style of closeness which is God's style. But God's style is also a style of compassion and of tenderness. Don't close your heart to problems. And you will see so many! When people come to tell you about their problems and to be accompanied… You waste time listening and comforting. Compassion, which leads you to forgiveness, to mercy. Please: be merciful, be forgiving. Because God forgives everything, he never tires of forgiving, it is we who get tired of asking for forgiveness. Closeness and compassion. But tender compassion, with that tenderness of family, of brothers, of a father ... with that tenderness that makes you feel that you are in the house of God.

I wish you this style, this style which is God's style.

And then, I mentioned something to you in the Sacristy, but I would like to mention it here before the people of God. Please, get away from vanity, from the pride of money. The devil enters "from the pockets". Think about this. Be poor, as the holy faithful people of God are poor. Poor people who love the poor. Don't be climbers. The "ecclesiastical career" ... Then you become an official, and when a priest begins to be an entrepreneur, both in the parish and in the college ..., wherever he is, he loses that closeness to the people, he loses that poverty that makes him similar to poor Christ and crucified, and becomes the entrepreneur, the entrepreneur priest and not the servant. I heard a story that moved me. A very intelligent, very practical, very capable priest, who had many administrations in his hands, but had his heart attached to that office one day, because he saw that one of his employees, an elderly man, had made a mistake, scolded him, threw him out. And that old man died for it. That man had been ordained a priest, and ended up as a ruthless businessman. Always have this image, always have this image.

Pastors close to God, to the Bishop, among you, and to the people of God. Pastors: servants as shepherds, not entrepreneurs. And get away from the money.

And then, remember that this road of the four neighborhoods is beautiful, this road of being shepherds, because Jesus comforts the shepherds, because He is the Good Shepherd. And seek consolation in Jesus, seek consolation in Our Lady - do not forget the Mother - always seek consolation there: to be consoled from there.

And carry the crosses - there will be some in our life - in the hands of Jesus and Our Lady. And don't be afraid, don't be afraid. If you are close to the Lord, the Bishop, among yourselves, and the people of God, if you have God's style - closeness, compassion and tenderness - do not be afraid, that everything will be fine.

Source: - Image Screenshot

Pope Francis says "Each of us can say: Jesus, knows me! ...and is always ready to care for us, to heal the wounds of our errors with the abundance of his mercy." FULL TEXT + Video



Saint Peter's Square - Sunday, 25 April 2021 

Dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno!

On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, called Good Shepherd Sunday, the Gospel (Jn 10:11-18) presents Jesus as the true shepherd who defends, knows and loves his sheep.

The “mercenary” is the opposite of the Good Shepherd, the one who does not care about the sheep because they are not his. He does the job only for pay and is not concerned about defending them: when a wolf arrives, he flees and abandons them (cf vv. 12-13).


 Instead, Jesus, the true shepherd, defends us always and saves us from so many difficult situations, dangerous situations through the light of his word and the strength of his presence that we always experience if we want to listen, every day.

The second aspect is that Jesus, the good shepherd, knows – the first aspect: defend; the second: he knows his sheep and the sheep know Him (v. 14). How beautiful and consoling it is to know that Jesus knows us one by one, that we are not unknown to Him, that our name is known to him! We are not a “mass”, a “multitude” for Him, no. We are unique individuals, each with his or her own story, he knows us with our own story, each with his or her own value, both because they have been created and have been redeemed by Christ. Each of us can say: Jesus, knows me! Each one of us: Jesus knows me! It is true, it is like this: He knows us like no other. Only He knows what is in our hearts, our intentions, our most hidden feelings. Jesus knows our strengths and our defects, and is always ready to care for us, to heal the wounds of our errors with the abundance of his mercy. In Him, the image the prophets had provided of the shepherd of the people of God is completely fulfilled: Jesus is concerned about his sheep, he gathers them, he binds their wounds, he heals their ailments. We can read this in Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (cf Ez 34:11-16).

Therefore, Jesus the Good Shepherd defends, knows, and above all loves his sheep. And this is why He gives His life for them (cf Jn 10:15). Love for his sheep, that is, for each one of us, would lead him to die on the cross. For this is the Father’s will – that no one should be lost. Christ’s love is not selective; it embraces everyone. He Himself reminds us of this in today’s Gospel when he says: “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). These words testify to his universal concern: He is everyone’s shepherd. Jesus wants everyone to be able to receive the Father’s love and encounter God.

And the Church is called to carry on this mission of Christ. Beyond those who participate in our communities, there is the majority, many people, who do so only at particular moments or never. But this does not mean they are not God’s children: the Father entrusts everyone to Jesus the Good Shepherd, and he gave his life for everyone.

Brothers and sisters, Jesus defends, knows and loves us, everyone. May Mary Most Holy help us to be the first to welcome and follow the Good Shepherd, to cooperate in the joy of his mission.

After the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

This past Friday, in Santa Cruz de Quiché in Guatemala, José Maria Gran Cirera and nine martyr companions were beatified: three priests and seven lay people belonging to the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, committed to defending the poor, who were killed between 1980 and 1991, the time during which the Catholic Church was being persecuted. With lively faith in Christ, they were heroic witnesses of justice and love. May their example make us more generous and courageous in living the Gospel. Let’s give a round of applause for the new Blesseds. [Applause]

I express my nearness to the people living on the Islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines where the volcanic eruption is causing harm and difficulties. I assure you of my prayers. I bless all those who are participating in relief efforts and assistance.

I am also near to the victims of the fire in the hospital for Covid patients in Baghdad. As of now, there are 82 people who have died. Let us pray for all of them.

I confess I am extremely sad over the tragedy that has once again taken place in the Mediterranean. One hundred thirty migrants died in the sea. They are people. They are human beings who begged for help in vain for two whole days – help that never arrived. Brothers and sisters, let us all ask ourselves about this umpteenth tragedy. It is a shameful moment. Let us pray for these brothers and sisters, and for all those who continue to die in these tragic crossings. Let us also pray for those who can help but prefer to look the other way. Let us pray in silence for them…

Today, the entire Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations whose theme is Saint Joseph: the Dream of Vocation. Let us thank the Lord so that he might continue to raise up in the Church people who, for love of Him, consecrate themselves to the proclamation of the Gospel and service to their brothers and sisters. And today in particular, let us offer thanks for the nine priests that I ordained earlier in Saint Peter’s Basilica – I do not know if they are here – and let us ask the Lord to send good labourers to work in his vineyard and that he might multiply vocations to the consecrated life.

And now I wholeheartedly greet you all of you, people from Rome and pilgrims. In particular, I greet the families and friends of the newly-ordained priests, as well as the community of the Pontifical German-Hungarian College who performed the traditional pilgrimage of the seven Churches today.

I wish all of you a good Sunday. And please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch. Arrivederci!

Source: - Image Screenshot