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Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 3, 2020

Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 3, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry


Acts of the Apostles 2:14a, 36-41

Psalm 23

First Letter of Saint Peter 2:20b-25

John 10:1-10


My mom and dad are the oldest children within their individual families.  They were the first to marry within their family and I was their first born.  This made me the oldest son, grandson, nephew and cousin in our entire family.  Being born just after World War II my parents had jobs and my primary babysitter was Grandma Mary.  I remember distinctly sitting in her living room and listening to the “radio.”  The large radio resembled a piece of furniture.  On the front of the radio there was a large white dog (Nipper was his name) intently listening to something flowing from a large horn-shaped speaker and below it were the letters, “RCA VICTOR.”

When I was with Grandma Mary there was that dog listening to something I could not hear myself.  Perhaps the dog was waiting for me to turn on the radio and we would listen together.  I asked my grandfather about the white dog and he simply said, “He was listening to the voice of his master.”  I asked him if I could listen to the voice of the master and he simply said that one day I would have my chance.

In today’s first reading there is some intense speaking and listening going on.  Peter, speaking the words of the Master, announces that Jesus is the Lord, and Christ, and the Messiah.  Peter is speaking to the people of Israel and the One they crucified was the One for whom they had longed and sought.  Their response is a very good one.  They asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?”  Peter tells them what to do and they both listen and act upon their reception.  “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.”

The Gospel of Saint John does not sound very much in keeping with Easter.  It does have to do with listening and/or not listening.  This particular section comprises verses which follow immediately from the verses at the end of the chapter about the curing of the man born blind.  As you may recall, the Pharisees were threatened by this and cursed Jesus.  Our Lord confronted them with the challenge that they were once able to see, but they have become blind themselves.  The verses that we listen to today continue His challenge and is intensified even more.  This is more about their not listening than Jesus being a shepherd to all.   It is a clear image of Jesus being the “Voice of the Master.”

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic most Christians were not able to attend the Easter Vigil Mass three weeks ago.  At this beautiful Mass we begin with the churches darkened until the Easter candle is lit.  From it one small candle was lit and passed throughout the church lighting hundreds of small candles.  Eventually, the entire church is illuminated with member of the community holding a small flame.  This light that was once so small is intended to light up the entire world.  All of this was done in complete silence until one voice began the proclamation of Holy Scriptures as we began to listen to The Word.  Jesus comes to us as “Light” by which to see and “Word” by which to hear as to whom we are and to Whom we belong.  Easter is our listening time.  He is the Voice of the Master to Whose voice we are to listen to and follow. 

Sisters and brothers, it is still Easter and the Master will be as faithful in speaking to all of us as was the old white dog on the face of the radio cabinet was faithful in waiting to hear the voice of his master.

Question of the Day:  How will you position your heart, prepare your mind, ponder the Word, praise with your soul, present your intentions, never stop learning, as you listen to the “Voice of the Master?”   

Prayer:  Lord God, you have called us to follow in the way of your Risen Son, and to care for those who are our family and friends, not only with words of comfort, but with acts of love.  Help us to listen to His Holy Words as we offer our prayers to His Church and the whole world.  Amen.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic.


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