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Fourth Sunday of Easter - Year B

Today’s readings are filled with beauty, love and even a little mysticism. In our first reading from Acts, we continue to see the development of the early Church and how it is spreading to the gentile nations and provinces. Many miracles and blessings through the Holy Spirit occur and the power of God is manifested all throughout the land. It is amazing to me that a Church that is roughly only two thousand years old has spread to every nation on earth and has 1.2 billion people from every race, tribe nation and tongue. Sometimes when I have traveled to other countries, I have been privileged to see many Catholic sites and Churches. It always astounds me to see so many Catholics from all over the world at these places. Confession lines in 7 or 8 different languages. If you have never experienced this, I encourage you to put it on the “bucket list”, and visit or take a pilgrimage to one of these places. You will be blessed.

In our second reading, St. John tells us that we are called Children of God, and so we are. In our times the Catholic Faith has become an easy target for the media and the world. We need to stand up and defend our Mother Church. I remember when I was young if anyone said something about my mother, even joking; it would lead to a fight or some very unpleasant words being exchanged. Why do we sit passively by as people make fun of our beliefs? Something to think about.

Finally we have a beautiful gospel passage in which our blessed Lord tells us that He is our shepherd and He would lay down His life for us. It is by believing in His Name that we are saved as there is no other name under Heaven or Earth by which we are saved, so we should keep His commandments and follow His voice. These are great words of encouragement and hope. Trust in His name and call out to Him. He will never leave us. He will come to us. He is there at every Mass, Body Blood Soul and Divinity in His beautiful and mystical Eucharistic Presence. This week let us remember to pray for those in our Church who are still being persecuted throughout the world, and let us continue to spread the Faith by our own love to others. May God richly bless you always!

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