Sunday Mass for the 4th Sunday of Easter 2021 - Year B

Apr 25, 2021 07:00 · 4205 words · 20 minute read

Welcome to St. Ignatius Chapel. Today we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Easter.

00:07 - Our celebrant today is Jesuit Fr. Anthony Egan SJ.

00:52 - In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

00:55 - [Amen. ] The Lord be with you. [And with your spirit. ] On this 4th Sunday of Easter, we come together knowing we are sinners, yet loved by God.

01:06 - And so we have the courage to ask God for mercy and forgiveness.

01:11 - You were sent to heal the contrite of heart.

01:14 - Lord, have mercy. [Lord, have mercy. ] You came to call sinners.

01:19 - Christ, have mercy. [Christ, have mercy. ] You intercede for us at the right hand of the Father.

01:24 - Lord, have mercy. [Lord, have mercy. ] May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us life everlasting.

01:31 - [Amen. ] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to people of good will.

01:37 - We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.

01:50 - Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

02:10 - For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.

02:22 - Amen. Almighty ever-living God, lead us to a share in the joys of heaven, so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before.

02:34 - Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

02:39 - [Amen. ] A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

02:52 - In those days: Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well.

03:23 - This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the cornerstone.

03:31 - And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. ” The word of the Lord.

03:45 - [Thanks be to God. ] The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

03:50 - [The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. ] Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.

04:02 - It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man; it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

04:11 - [The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. ] I will thank you, for you have answered, and you are my saviour.

04:23 - The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

04:28 - By the Lord has this been done, a marvel in our eyes.

04:33 - [The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. ] Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

04:43 - We bless you from the house of the Lord. You are my God, I praise you.

04:49 - My God, I exalt you. Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.

04:57 - [The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. ] A reading from the first letter of Saint John.

05:09 - Beloved: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

05:18 - The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

05:25 - Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

05:41 - The word of the Lord. [Thanks be to God. ] [Alleluia!] I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own, and my own know me.

06:10 - [Alleluia!] The Lord be with you. [And with your spirit] A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint John.

06:38 - [Glory to you, O Lord. ] At that time: Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.

06:45 - The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

06:48 - He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.

07:00 - He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.

07:04 - I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

07:17 - And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice.

07:25 - So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again.

07:35 - No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.

07:39 - I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father. ” My brothers and sisters, the Gospel of the Lord.

07:51 - [Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ. ] I was going, on this Good Shepherd Sunday, to talk about the counter-cultural witness of the Christian vocation, of how Jesus’ self-identification with the despised caste of shepherds is a model for all seeking a vocation, particularly those considering priesthood or the life of the vowed religious.

08:21 - From that I was going to talk about the willingness to become marginal for the reign of God as a sign of vocation.

08:27 - Indeed, concluding that anyone who considers such a life as a means of social advancement, prestige and power in the church are in it for less than pure motives… Unfortunately, though I still agree with the last observations, I cannot use the marginal shepherd line of thought to make this claim.

08:49 - It’s a popular myth – perhaps even a populist myth – that shepherds were marginal or disreputable figures in Jesus’ time.

08:59 - It is often raised as an image at Christmastime: the marginal Jesus in a stable visited by marginal folk.

09:07 - At very least the profession of shepherd is claimed to have declined in esteem since the time a shepherd boy named David was made king of Israel.

09:19 - There is no evidence, however, that this is the case.

09:22 - Some thinkers in the ancient world had a low view of shepherds.

09:26 - Aristotle, for example, once said that among people, quote, “the laziest are shepherds, who lead an idle life, and get their subsistence without trouble from tame animals; their flocks wandering from place to place in search of pasture, they are compelled to follow them, cultivating a sort of living farm. ” unquote.

09:52 - But Aristotle was not Jewish but Greek – and how by far the majority of Jews of Jesus’ day took him seriously is doubtful! So ‘Bye, bye!’ the myth of the disreputable shepherd! What of the claim that shepherds were religious outcasts? Apart from the point that many, perhaps the majority of Jews, were for various reasons less than perfect in their religious observance, there is no evidence, either, that the rabbis of Jesus’ day considered shepherds in particular religious outcasts.

10:31 - What little and conflicting evidence, as Jewish scholars have pointed out, comes from later, and often contradictory, rabbinic texts.

10:42 - We can say that shepherds were basically poor, but probably not the poorest of the poor.

10:49 - They were not educated – but neither were most of the population.

10:53 - Yet we can say they provided an important service of tending and protecting sheep and goats, an essential service in an agrarian economy.

11:04 - Though a shepherd was not a ruler he (and evidence suggests that most if not all were men in Jesus’ time) was a vital figure in society without whom the economy would grind to a halt.

11:18 - They were not unlike the essential services workers – factory workers, shop assistants etc. – who keep society crawling along during this Covid lockdown.

11:30 - Tracing the image of shepherd leader backward to David, and read with such texts as 1 Peter 5. 2, and a very different picture emerges: what we today would call servant leadership.

11:45 - The shepherd who protects sheep from wolves and thieves.

11:48 - The shepherd who would lead the sheep from the front.

11:51 - Who cared for the sheep though he knew that he ultimately had no real power over their lives; the sheep belong – ultimately to the farmer.

12:01 - Despite that, the shepherds treated the sheep as if they had a greater stake in their well-being than one might expect of a ‘hired hand’.

12:12 - What might we make of this as we reflect on vocation? I want to distinguish between vocation to priesthood and the religious life – the ‘specific intention’ behind today – and the Christian vocation as a whole, of which the former is a part.

12:31 - First, priesthood and religious life. We who choose this part of life believe that God is somehow calling us to it.

12:39 - This is by no means a simple thing. It is often said – because it’s true! – that one joins for mixed motives and those who stay will stay for possibly different motives.

12:52 - The Good Shepherd metaphor suggests not only the better reasons for entry but also for staying.

13:00 - Priests and religious hold positions of authority and leadership in the church – to think otherwise is frankly delusional and protestations to the contrary are either naïve or deceptive.

13:12 - But, and here is the rub, to enter priesthood or religious life solely for power over ‘the sheep’ is both dangerous and delusional.

13:21 - It is dangerous because it undermines the role of the shepherd: the one who rules the sheep is the farmer.

13:31 - The shepherd represents the farmer. It is not power over the people on its own – insofar as there is power, it is a delegated authority that comes from God and from the whole people of God.

13:44 - Priests, for example, serve both in persona Christi and in persona ecclesia – on behalf of Christ and on behalf of the whole Christian assembly.

13:57 - Religious men and women who are not ordained also serve as shepherds, by their particular witness to Christ within the Christian community.

14:05 - So, to anyone out there considering the priesthood or the religious life, beware: don’t confuse the shepherd and the farmer! Second, the Christian vocation as a whole.

14:21 - This is the broader calling, to serve Christ in the rough and tumble of ordinary life.

14:26 - Paradoxically, while not bound by the vows and promises of priesthood and religious life, this is perhaps the more difficult.

14:33 - It is not just about choosing a career or job, but entails for the Christian the challenge to live one’s life work as a witness to Christ – without the trappings of habits and collars, church structures and daily rituals.

14:50 - It challenges us to live lives that witness to Christ by one’s daily practice, in work and in how we run our households.

14:58 - There is a difference between just doing a job and raising a family and making work and family a sign of serving God.

15:09 - The Good Shepherd of the Christian vocation is ultimately a calling to lead by example: caring, protecting, leading in a manner rooted in service, knowing that everything – work and family alike – belongs ultimately to the Farmer, to God.

15:53 - Let us then profess the faith we all share by saying together the Apostles’ Creed.

15:58 - 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.

16:19 - 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.

16:31 - 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.

16:45 - [Amen. ] Let us now bring before the Lord our prayers and petitions on this day.

16:57 - We give thanks to God for all those who live out their Christian vocation in the world, whose work witnesses to the Risen Christ by example.

17:06 - May their servant leadership, exemplified by the Good Shepherd, inspire all Christians to strive to live better their Christian lives.

17:20 - Lord hear us. [Lord, graciously hear us. ] We pray for all men and women exploring the specific call to priesthood and the religious life.

17:30 - May their discernment be inspired and nourished by the servant leadership example of Christ the Good Shepherd.

17:40 - Lord hear us. [Lord, graciously hear us. ] As we celebrate the Good Shepherd, we give thanks for all people in essential services whose services in whatever capacity has contributed to easing the struggles raised by the Covid pandemic.

17:58 - May we never underestimate their service; may their generosity be blessed.

18:06 - Lord hear us. [Lord, graciously hear us. ] We pray that all people may seek their true calling.

18:19 - Lord hear us. [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For your personal prayers.

18:36 - Lord hear us. [Lord, graciously hear us. ] Loving God, who leads us as Good Shepherd, guide us as a shepherd to seek what is truly of you.

18:50 - And we bring all the prayers to you, in the name of Christ the Lord.

18:54 - [Amen. ] Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer: fruit of the earth, work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.

19:33 - [Blessed be God for ever. ] Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer: fruit of the vine, work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.

19:53 - [Blessed be God for ever. ] Pray, my brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God our almighty Father.

20:12 - [May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good and the good of all God’s holy Church. ] Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may always find delight in these paschal mysteries, so that the renewal constantly at work within us may be the cause of our unending joy.

20:33 - Through Christ, our Lord. [Amen] The Lord be with you.

20:38 - [And with your spirit. ] Lift up your hearts.

20:41 - [We lift them up to the Lord. ] Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

20:45 - [It is right and just. ] It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

20:59 - For, with the old order destroyed, a universe cast down is renewed, and integrity of life is restored to us in Christ. Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exult in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy [Lord God of hosts.

21:25 - Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

21:30 - Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

21:33 - Hosanna in the highest. ] You are indeed Holy, O Lord, and all you have created rightly gives you praise, for through your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, you give life to all things and make them holy, and you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.

21:56 - Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you: by the same Spirit graciously make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration, that they become the Body and Blood of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.

22:13 - For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and, giving you thanks, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

22:32 - In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and, giving you thanks, said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT, FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR THE MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

22:50 - DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME. The mystery of faith.

23:02 - We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection until you come again.

23:08 - Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the saving Passion of your Son, his wondrous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, and as we look forward to his second coming, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.

23:23 - Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.

23:45 - May he make of us an eternal offering to you, so that we may obtain an inheritance with your elect, especially with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Saint Joseph her spouse, with your blessed Apostles and glorious Martyrs and all the Saints, on whose constant intercession in your presence we rely for unfailing help.

24:07 - May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation, we pray, O Lord, advance the peace and salvation of all the world.

24:13 - Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity your pilgrim Church on earth, with your servant Francis our Pope, with Buti our Bishop, with the Order of Bishops, all the clergy, and the entire people you have gained for your own.

24:27 - Listen graciously to the prayers of this family, whom you have summoned before you: in your compassion, O merciful Father, gather to yourself all your children scattered throughout the world.

24:39 - To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life, give kind admittance to your kingdom.

24:48 - There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of your glory through Christ our Lord, through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.

24:59 - Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.

25:08 - [Amen. ] At the Saviour’s command and formed by divine teaching we dare to say: Our Father, [who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

25:31 - 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. ] Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days.

25:50 - That by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

26:00 - [For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. ] Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will, who live and reign for ever and ever.

26:20 - [Amen. ] The peace of the Lord be with you.

26:23 - [And with your spirit. ] Lamb of God, [you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

26:38 - Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

26:43 - Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. ] Behold, the Lamb of God, the one who takes away the sins of the world, how blessed are we who are called to the supper of the Lamb.

26:58 - [Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. ] May the Body and the Blood of Christ bring us life everlasting.

27:10 - [Amen. ] Although you cannot receive physical communion with us now, we invite you into a moment of spiritual communion.

27:27 - The great medieval theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, defined spiritual communion as: “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament”, and “a loving embrace as though we had already received him. ” His words are echoed by the great mystic, and fellow doctor of the church, St. Teresa of Avila, who wrote: “When you do not receive Communion, and do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion which is a most beneficial practice.

27:58 - By it, the love of God will be greatly impressed on you. ” At this moment we invite you to focus on Christ, and your longing for union with him.

28:12 - Express your desire to feel his grace coursing through you, giving you strength and courage, particularly in these difficult times.

28:22 - In your desiring union you are united with us, and to Christ.

28:28 - In this moment we experience the reality that is already here.

30:04 - Let us pray. Look upon your flock, kind Shepherd, and be pleased to settle in eternal pastures the sheep you have redeemed by the Precious Blood of your Son.

30:16 - Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. [Amen. ] It being Easter we have a special blessing.

30:26 - May God, who by the resurrection of his only begotten Son was pleased to confer on you the gift of redemption and of adoption, give you gladness by his blessing.

30:37 - [Amen. ] May he, by whose redeeming work you have received the gift of everlasting freedom, make you heirs to an eternal inheritance.

30:47 - [Amen. ] And may you, who have risen with Christ in Baptism through faith, by living in a right manner on this earth, be united with him in the homeland of heaven.

30:57 - [Amen. ] And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come down upon you and remain with you forever.

31:04 - [Amen. ] Our mass is ended, let us remain in the peace of Christ.

31:08 - Alleluia, alleluia. [Thanks be to God.

31:12 - Alleluia, alleluia. ].