DEVOTIONAL PRAYER FOR APRIL
Lord Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages curing every disease and illness. At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care. Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another. Heal us from our pride, which made us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.
Lord Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace. Be with doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace. Be with leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Lord Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace. Lord Jesus Christ, heal us.
Like newborn infants, you must long for the pure, spiritual milk, that in him you may grow to salvation, alleluia.
1st Reading (Acts 2:42-47)
The whole community remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. The many miracles and signs worked through the apostles made a deep impression on everyone. The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed. They went as a body to the Temple every day but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously; they praised God and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved.
The Word of the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
2nd Reading (1 Pet 1:3-9)
A reading from the first letter of St. Peter
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which had been prepared is revealed at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold – only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire – and then you will have praise and glory and honour. You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.
The Word of the Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia! You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me; happy those who have not seen me, but still believe! Alleluia!
Gospel (Jn 20:19-31)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John.
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’ Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him: ‘You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’ There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION ON 2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER
Today’s readings are very appropriate to the context of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our life is not very much different than that of the disciples of Jesus after his resurrection. Lockdown has made our life quite unbearable. Life seems to be isolated, fearful and anxious. Many of our hopes and dreams are shattered. People have lost their jobs and business. They are cut off from family and community. We constantly hear news of sickness and death as a result of Covid-19. The future seems uncertain. There is a feeling of immediate ending. Due to Coronavirus no one was able to celebrate the joy of Easter. All are scared and scattered. Fear of death has overwhelmed everyone’s life. Hence dear friends, I ask that you listen to our Risen Lord who appeared to his disciples when they were closed in the rooms for fear of the Jews. “Peace be with you”. That peace will free you from all kinds of fear and distress.
Some of us, like Thomas in the Gospel, are living in despair and searching for peace. It seems that after Good Friday, Thomas had cut himself off from the other apostles, and walked alone. This was a big mistake. People who are grieving have a tendency to isolate themselves. But it is not helpful. In cutting himself off from the other apostles, Thomas made things more difficult for himself. However, whenever he met them, he would have noticed a difference in them. Their fear was largely gone, and had been replaced by joy and peace. It was clear that someone had breathed new life into them. Yes it was our Lord, who having conquered fear and death, changed their lives. The risen Lord appeared and filled their lives with joy and hope.
I have noticed more family prayers and gatherings during this Easter season than before. This has brought much joy because the gatherings remind us of the early Christian Community gathering, as we find in today’s first reading. “They went as a body to the Temple every day but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously; they praised God and were looked up to by everyone.” When our family prayer and prayer groups become active and regular, significant changes happen to many peoples' lives. Family bond is strengthened, joy increased and peace has been established in many families. People who had been cut off due to doubt and distress have joined in the family prayer. The Risen Lord has breathed his peace and joy upon everyone. The Holy Spirit has enlightened and empowered each one's faith. All have realised that Christ has not abandoned them in their suffering and sickness. He has been with us on our trials and tribulations. I would like to quote Cardinal Pell who explained how he felt God’s presence in his struggle and imprisonment: “I know He has been with me always, but I do not know where He is taking me”.
Hence dear friends, do not be disappointed or lose heart. It is the time to prove our fidelity and commitment. Though we miss our Lord’s Sacramental presence in our daily life, his Spiritual presence is very active whenever we gather in His name. Let us live in His presence with our personal prayers and listening to His words. And in this way, we can be a blessed people of God who have not seen and yet believe. We have lovely days ahead, so please do not be alarmed by this pandemic. Let us put our hope and trust in our Lord. Through the second reading St. Peter urges us to put our hope and trust in our Lord: “This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold – only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire – and then you will have praise and glory and honour.”
Wishing you all the blessings and greetings of Divine Mercy Sunday!
< Jesus I Trust in You >
Father Vincent John CMI
- Our church is now closed as per Government regulations. Please note that the Sunday Obligation will not apply during this time of suspension.
- Online daily Masses are available at the following links:
- To keep yourself updated with Parish news, visit the Parish website at http://stpeterapostlemission.org.au
Facebook Page at https://m.facebook.com/stpetershoppers/
- To receive current information, you can update us with your email address by emailing the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Thanksgiving Contributions
As there are no regular masses being held, we have been approached by some parishioners regarding their weekly contributions. If you would like to continue your contributions to support the parish, the following options are available:
- You can drop off your Thanksgiving envelope and Project Compassion Boxes at the Parish office during office hours Monday to Friday 9:00am to 3:30pm.
- Thanksgiving donations can be made directly to our Church Bank Account. Details as follows:
Account name: St Peter Apostle Parish Church Account
BSB: 083-347 Account No: 637286747
Please use your Thanksgiving Envelope number and your name for reference purposes. (Example: TG 123-Tom Smith).
- If you would like to amend your Thanksgiving from Envelopes to Credit Card/Debit Card, please call or email the parish office and we will send you a form to make this change.
- Online Thanksgiving Options
Parishioners who normally give cash each weekend for the Thanksgiving collections, can now make payments online if you wish to do so, either by
- going to the link Online Thanksgiving Payments CDF Pay
- by going to the link on our website (under the Support your Parish tab)
- going to the link Online Thanksgiving Payments CDF Pay
You can make quick and easy recurring thanksgiving payments or can choose a one-time offering from the comfort of your own home.When making an offering online, you have the option to choose which collection you would like the offering to go to, just as you would do during Sunday Mass – first collection (Parish) or the second collection (Presbytery).
Thank you to all our parishioners who have responded and dropped off your envelopes and Project Compassion Boxes to the parish office and also contributed directly to our Church Bank Account.
Fr. Vincent and Dcn. Charles thank you for your continued support to the parish.
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
On the Second Sunday of Easter of the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass for the Canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter be called “Divine Mercy Sunday.” St. Faustina was a Polish nun who received visions from Jesus, including one of Jesus wearing a white garment with beams of red and white coming from His heart, which came to be known as the image of Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy Sunday focuses on the gift of mercy, forgiveness and love given through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. As Pope John Paul II stated, “Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified.”
We pray for Michael Xavier, Melville Pereira, Edgardo Salvador, Fr. Frank Terry SM, John D'Souza and all who have passed away recently.
We pray for Christopher Hart, Aju Sunny, Baptist D'Souza, Yolanda Santos, Elsa D'Souza, Leon Gill, Anthony Borg, Tibor Fran, Catherine Dinh, Gabriel Dinh, Victoria Sapiano, Anna Marie Medel, Alice Quinless and all whose anniversaries occur at this time.
PRAYERS FOR THE SICK
We pray for Elaine Dalton, Leo Linehan, Gary Spotswood, Sean Donaldson, Kath Meddings, Lucy Ballan, Irene Jones, Thais Long, Jean Cameron, Gordon Newman, Francine Foster, Sam Caruana, Therese Mary, Zandi Falzon, Robel Rosales, Rey Medina, Denis Webber, Lourdes Sequeira, Mary D'cruz, Leo Mellewa, Pat Heffernan, Andrea Clayburn, Yvonne Clayton, Monique Hoaster, Alphonsus De Roza, Aiden Leonard, Elvira de Torres, Wilfredo Villareal, Julia Rego, Keely Welsford, Rolando Navarro, Jean Skinner, Avis Fernandes, Gaudelia Javier, Lina Enriquez, Felix Bephage, Francis Goonting, Fr Jolly Alavelil CMI, Jose Golaw, Gely Co, Anne Deluca, Jomy Jacob, Andie Osmond, Ceejay Fernandes and all who are ill in our Parish.