Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On this fourth Sunday of Easter, we celebrate the feast of Christ, our good shepherd who willingly laid down his life for his flock. For many of us today who live in cities we don’t often see many shepherds herding their sheep to market! The language and images in the Gospel can seem a bit strange to us today and may even be outside our experience altogether. We celebrate our shepherd because he loves and cares for us in all circumstances. He is willing to lead all who follow and obey him to the spring of eternal life.
Today’s first reading narrates how the apostles continued to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Peter stands up with the eleven apostles and addresses the crowd, declaring that the events they are witnessing are the fulfillment of prophecy. Then he preaches about Jesus Christ, calling on the crowd to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, leading to the conversion and baptism of about three thousand people. This shows that Christ came for the salvation of all nations and offers us salvation and protection through the good news.
In our second reading, Peter exhorts Christians to endure suffering patiently, even when it is unjust, because Christ himself suffered for their sake and left them an example to follow. Peter emphasizes that Christ’s suffering was redemptive, and that through his wounds, believers are healed and brought back to God, who is like a shepherd caring for his sheep. Through his son Jesus Christ, God is ready to lead us to the spring of eternal salvation. His mercy, love, and salvation do not discriminate, and his kingdom is thrown opened to all.
Today’s Gospel is precise. However, it bears a compelling message for all of us that when a shepherd calls a sheep, the sheep recognises the voice and responds. Just as the shepherd knows the sheep, the sheep knows and trusts the shepherd. The shepherd guides and protects the sheep. The sheep go where the shepherd leads them.
We are not sheep! But the Lord knows and loves each of us as individuals. The Prophet Isaiah has a beautiful image of this in Isaiah 49:16 he writes, ‘I have called you by your name, you are mine, do not be afraid. You are precious to me, and I love you.’ If a shepherd cares for his sheep with great love and devotion, how much more does Jesus’ love and care for each of us? Jesus does not force us to listen to his voice when he calls us. He invites us to follow him freely. The choice whether or not to respond is ours. We may take our time in responding, but Jesus will never stop calling us by our name; he will wait until we do respond.
As we continue our journey through Easter in preparation for the celebration of Pentecost, may each of us realise how deeply and personally Jesus loves us. When Jesus calls us by our name, may we answer in faith, gratitude, and gratefulness. May we follow where he leads us.
Fr. Mathew Raj OMI
Interim Rector/Parish Priest
The Weekend eBulletin
Click here to download the eBulletin for the 4th Sunday of Easter, Year A.
Basilica Guardian URGENTLY Required
We require a Basilica Guardian who can fill in on Fridays from 28-05-2023 till 05-07-2023 from 1pm to 3pm. If you can assist, please contact the Parish Office ASAP.
Parish Morning Tea
The next Parish Morning Tea will be held on Sunday 7th May after the 8am Mass. All welcome to attend.
Our Lady of Fatima
The nine-day Novena in honour of Our Lady of Fatima will commence on Thursday 4th May until Friday 12th May. See noticeboards and leaflets which are available in the side foyer of the Church this weekend. This year Mass will be celebrated on Saturday 13th May at 6pm with candlelight procession through the Basilica and School Grounds followed by Benediction in the Basilica. Please join us as we honour Our Lady.
Project Compassion Donations
Please return your Project Compassion donations either via the Parish Office or via the collection plate at the weekend Masses. Donations need to be in before the end of April.
High Voltage Music Event – Sunday 7 May
Remember that on Sunday 7 May there will be some road closures due to the High Voltage Event. Although these road closures do not directly affect access to the Basilica, other than Parry Street from South Terrace, there will be however large volume of cars and parking maybe affected closer to the Basilica. Please plan ahead.
National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week is from the 15th -21st May 2023. This year the theme for Volunteer week is ‘The Change Makers’. The annual Volunteer Thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral on Sunday 14th May 2023 at 11.00am.
The Planned Giving Programme is an important part of the Parish and assists us to maintain all aspects of the Basilica, Presbytery and Parish Administration Centre. To keep the Parish viable, we must maintain a target of 95% and above each week. Last week giving was 53%.
Please consider joining the Planned Giving Programme. For more information contact the Parish Office. Thank you!
EFT First Collection Details
BSB: 086 006
A/c No: 56187 5405
Reference: 1st Collection and your name
First Collection supports the Priests.
EFT Second Collection Details
BSB: 066 107
A/c No: 0080 0216
Reference: 2nd Collection and your name
Second Collection supports the Parish.
Masks are not mandatory; however, masks are encouraged where physical distancing is not possible if you have cold & flu symptoms, or you wish to safeguard yourself from the COVID-19 virus.
Safeguarding of our children in the Parish
The Archdiocesan Safeguarding Project was started in 2016 by Archbishop Timothy Costello SDB with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment for all its members, leaders and especially children and vulnerable adults. The parish of St Patrick’s Basilica is committed to creating a safe parish.
EVENTS IN THE PARISH
Thursday 4th May to Friday 12th May: Our Lady of Fatima Novena.
Sunday 7th May: Parish Morning Tea.
Saturday 13th May: Our Lady of Fatima Mass, Procession & Benediction.
Sunday 14th May: Mother’s Day.