Celebrate Sunday Mass - Fourth Sunday of Easter - 4.25.21

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Photo by Mimi Moromisato from Pexels

Photo by Mimi Moromisato from Pexels

4/25/2021 (1 month ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

APRIL 25, 2021 -- FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO HOLY MASS ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these liturgies online has been overwhelming. 

The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass. 

In our first reading for this Fourth Sunday of Easter, we heard a portion of the powerful sermon which the Apostle Peter preached after spending a night in jail with John. They were imprisoned because they taught in the temple that Jesus had been raised from the dead. 

So, the first thing Peter did upon his release from jail was to boldly address the Sanhedrin and preach the same message in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is an example of how the experience of the Holy Spirit changed the Apostles.  

After hearing of the healing of a man lame from birth and the message Peter which gave in the temple - which led to his arrest - they asked him "By what power or by what name did you do this?" and Peter, whom the scripture says was "filled with the Spirit", spoke this powerful message without any fear.

 He told them that the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. That is Jesus. He is the cornerstone, the stone upon which the whole building rests and the stone to which the whole building is oriented. 

This Holy Boldness of Peter and John was an example of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and through them. Jesus had promised they would receive such power, and they did. 

We did as well, at our Baptism and in our reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. As we approach the celebration of the first Pentecost, we need to ask the Lord to fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit and to give us the boldness to preach, teach and live the Gospel in its fullness, as faithful Catholic Christians. We are called to be a part of a new missionary age of the Church.

Our second reading is an excerpt from the first letter of the Apostle John which was written to all the early churches. In this chapter, St John is instructing the early Christians - as well as each one of us - how to live as God's children in this world. 

And, how to do so in a way which helps the children of this world to encounter the Lord and be brought into the Church. He is reminding us all that we are God's children right now! And what we will become, as we cooperate with grace, will only be fully revealed when we are with the Lord. We shall be like Jesus, the cornerstone and the first born of the new creation.

Our Gospel text for this Fourth Sunday of Easter is the beautiful teaching of Jesus that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down his Life for the Sheep. We are His sheep. The wolf is the evil one and his minions. They have no love for the sheep but rather seek to devour them. 

A little earlier in this chapter Jesus tells his disciples, and always remember, anything taught to the disciples includes you and me, that he is the gate into the sheepfold. We entered the sheepfold at our Baptism. 

Jesus knows us and calls us each by name. Do we believe this? We should, it is true. Easter is a great time for each one of us to draw closer to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. This is the time to choose to make Him the very center of our lives. 

We are God's children; we are the sheep of His flock. The same Holy Spirit which empowered Peter and John dwells within us. As we move toward the celebration of Pentecost, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. 

May you and your family have a wonderful Lord's Day. Jesus Christ has been raised. Alleluia! Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit and set us on fire!

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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