Welcome to the Virtual Parish weekly worship! We encourage you to participate with your family in the following Liturgy of the Word. You will find audio recordings of the readings and videos of Father Au reading the Gospel and providing his Homily.
If you follow us on Facebook, we encourage you to have a discussion regarding these readings and homily. Have a Blessed weekend and stay well.
Audio of the readings, read by Shrine Parishioner Mary Jo Harris
First Reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Response: "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy"
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:15-18
Refuse any Excuse to Give up on Love.
As Jesus addressed His disciples before His passion, He tells them that if they would be his friends they must obey His commandments. The commandment He always gave them was that they should love one another as He has loved them. But what does it mean to command love?
Our culture teaches us to approach love in a very passive way. Love is something that happens to us. Jesus reminds His friends that love is at heart something we decide to do in giving ourselves to the good of others Love is not something we fall into or out of. Love is something we decide to do or decide to stop doing.
Jesus issues this command as he is about to refuse any excuse to give up on the love that will soon lead Him to His passion and death. In John's gospel Jesus' refusal to stop loving no matter the cost, is contrasted to the excuses His disciples found to give up on love in denying Him and running away. Today's Gospel calls us to honestly look at the excuses we use to give up on love, to walk away from our commitments of love and the sacrifices they demand. We are called to remember that to love as Jesus loved is to find no excuse to give up on love, no matter the cost it demands of us.
- For the people of the United States, that we may be united in building a society in which everyone can have the opportunity to live with dignity and hope, we pray to the Lord...
- For the Church, that we may be a witness to Christ's love by practicing charity and promoting justice and peace throughout the world, we pray to the Lord...
- For Catholics throughout our nation, that the values of our faith may guide us to be active participants in civic life, we pray to the Lord...
- For the members of this community, that we may find ways to help build a world of greater respect for human life and human dignity, we pray to the Lord...
- For those who serve in elected office, that they may lead with courage and wisdom, reflecting the Church's teaching that the moral test of our society is how the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable are faring, we pray to the Lord...
- For those who are suffering, that the decisions made may lead to policies and programs that help them live in dignity, we pray to the Lord...
- For the earth, that we are all inspired by God's Spirit to protect all of His creation, we pray to the Lord...
- For all those working and waiting to return to work, that we might all seek ways to promote fairness, safety, and dignity in their lives, we pray to the Lord...
- For leaders around the world, that they might find ways to bring an end to this pandemic, and promote peace and development for all nations, we pray to the Lord...
By Thomas Merton
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.