- Lengthening the Life of your Fuel Pump (Helpful Hints for Life-Jesus icon)
- Keep up on the actions of the Pope and Vatican via simply daily e-mail (Website section-laptop icon)
- Pope Francis Signs Motu Proprio to Prevent and Denounce Abuses in the Catholic Church (Diocesan News and Beyond)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Age of Reason to Receive Holy Communion
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
Canon 914. It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the pastor to see that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession; it is also for the pastor to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy Banquet who have not reached the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed. (Canon law-Church law) http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P39.HTM
It is the desire of Jesus and His beloved bride, the Church, to give every good gift to human persons as soon as they are able to receive them, for their benefit here on earth and that they may one day come to heaven. That is why infants are to Baptized as soon as possible, and as soon as children can tell the difference between ordinary bread and the Holy Eucharist, they are generally prepared to receive the Bread of Life, Jesus, the Holy Eucharist. This time in a child's life is called the age of reason (term below) by the Church and described this way:
Can. 97 §1. A person who has completed the eighteenth year of age has reached majority; below this age, a person is a minor.
§2. A minor before the completion of the seventh year is called an infant and is considered not responsible for oneself (non sui compos). With the completion of the seventh year, however, a minor is presumed to have the use of reason. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__PC.HTM
The use of reason is not the end all be all as you can see. But it is the minimum necessity the Church believes for one to begin to most benefit from receiving the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord. But before this happens, the Sacrament of cleansing of sins committed after Baptism, Penance/Confession/Reconciliation, must be received. The Church clarifies:
1457 According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church) http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P4D.HTM (see also Canon 914)
Church law is not meant to complicate our lives or make them difficult. Like our parents that keep us from doing some things that may be harmful to us or they help us to do things that are difficult, when we get older we begin to understand and we are grateful. Study and pray about the laws of the Church that you may currently have trouble with.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This past Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. >>> Readings
Homilies (second one contains the Gospel) from Divine Mercy Sunday and Friday of the Second Week of Easter is found below, click with your mouse pointer on the blue lines below (11 and 7 minutes respectively):
Divine Mercy Sunday
Friday of Second Week of Easter
Canon Law (from Greek kanōn "measuring rod, rule" + Old Norish lagu, early pl. of lag "laying in order")
- authentic collection of the laws of the Catholic Church
[Canon Law provides the norms for good order in the visible society of the Church. Those canon laws that apply universally are contained in the Codes of Canon Law. Two major compilations have been made in the Church's history, Gratian's Decree, assembled about A.D. 1140 by the Italian Camaldolese monk, Gratian, and the Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in 1917, and effective on Pentecost, May 19, 1918. The most recent Code of Canon Law was promulgated in 1983 for the Latin Western Church and in 1991 for the Eastern Church.]
age of reason
- time of life at which a person is assumed to be morally responsible and able to distinguish between right and wrong
[It is generally held to be by the end of the seventh year (age 7), although it may be earlier. With the mentally challenged it may be later.]
Never run your car on less than a quarter a tank of gas. If you do, the fuel pump must work extra hard to get gas to the engine, and it wears out quicker because it is not fully submerged in the gas of your gas tank. If you do this regularly, you can significantly reduce the life of your fuel pump which can cost up to $500 to replace. Keep the fuel tank above 1/4 tank.
"First Holy Communion. Having become a child of God clothed with the wedding garment, the neophyte is admitted "to the marriage supper of the Lamb" and receives the food of the new life, the body and blood of Christ. The Eastern Churches maintain a lively awareness of the unity of Christian initiation by giving Holy Communion to all the newly baptized and confirmed, even little children, recalling the Lord's words: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them." The Latin Church, which reserves admission to Holy Communion to those who have attained the age of reason, expresses the orientation of Baptism to the Eucharist by having the newly baptized child brought to the altar for the praying of the Our Father." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1244
MAY. 9, 2019
Pope Francis Signs Motu Proprio to Prevent
and Denounce Abuses in the Catholic Church
Vos Estis Lux Mundi also concerns any actions intended to cover up a civil or canonical investigation into accusations of child pornography use, sexual abuse of minors or sexual coercion through abuse of power.
Hannah Brockhaus/CNAVATICAN — New Vatican norms for the Church’s handling of sex abuse, issued Thursday, place seminarians and religious coerced into sexual activity through the misuse of authority in the same criminal category as abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
The norms also establish obligatory reporting for clerics and religious, require that every diocese has a mechanism for reporting abuse, and put the metropolitan archbishop in charge of investigations of accusations against suffragan bishops.
Pope Francis promulgated the law May 9 via a motu proprio, titled Vos Estis Lux Mundi (You Are the Light of the World). He approved its promulgation on an experimental basis for a period of three years. It will enter in effect June 1, 2019.
“The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful,” the Pope wrote, stating that the primary responsibility for improving the handling of these issues falls to the bishop, though it concerns all who have ministries in the Church or “serve the Christian People.”
“Therefore, it is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful,” he said.
The norms regard what are called, in canon law, “delicts against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue,” consisting of sexual acts with a minor or vulnerable person; forcing someone to perform or submit to sexual acts through violence, threat, or abuse of authority; and the production or possession of child pornography.
The new law also concerns any actions intended to cover up a civil or canonical investigation into accusations of child pornography use, sexual abuse of minors or sexual coercion through abuse of power.
It establishes the so-called “metropolitan model” for the investigation of accusations against bishops and their equivalents, as proposed by Cardinal Blase Cupich at the November meeting of the U.S. bishops' conference and the Vatican February summit on the protection of minors.
According to the new law, the metropolitan archbishop will conduct the investigation into a suffragan bishop with a mandate from the Holy See. The metropolitan is required to send reports to the Holy See on the progress of the investigation every 30 days and to complete the investigation within 90 days unless granted an extension.The metropolitan archbishop may use the assistance of qualified laypeople in carrying out the investigation, though it is primarily his responsibility, the norms state. Bishops’ conferences may establish funds to support these investigations.
The document emphasizes that “the person under investigation enjoys the presumption of innocence.”
At the conclusion of the investigation, the results are sent to the competent Vatican dicastery, which will then apply the applicable penalty according to existing canon law.
In the event a report concerns a major archbishop, it will be forwarded to the Holy See.
One article states that Church authorities shall be committed to ensuring “that those who state that they have been harmed, together with their families, are to be treated with dignity and respect,” be welcomed, listened to and supported and offered spiritual assistance and medical and psychological assistance.
The norms also introduce obligatory reporting, requiring that every cleric or religious man or woman who has become aware of an accusation of abuse or cover-up report it “promptly” to the proper Church authority.
The motu proprio also states that it will be required that every diocese create a stable mechanism or system through which people may submit reports of abuse or its cover-up. The exact form of the system, which could also be an entire office, will be left to the discretion of the individual diocese, but must be established by June 2020.
“Even if so much has already been accomplished, we must continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past, looking with hope towards the future,” Pope Francis wrote.
“In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed,” he said, “attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church.”
“This becomes possible only with the grace of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, as we must always keep in mind the words of Jesus: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing.’”
“The role that (faith) plays in my life is in the priorities that I have,” he said April 26, “faith, then family, then football.”
Coach Harbaugh spoke to EWTN News following a general audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square April 26. He and his wife, Sarah, greeted Francis following the audience and presented him with a gift from the team – a University of Michigan helmet and pair of cleats.
The helmet included both the Italian and American flags and a little cross by the chinstrap. The Pope gave Harbaugh “some marching orders,” the coach said, “he told me to pray for him.”
Following the encounter, Harbaugh and his family and the University of Michigan football team were hosted for lunch on the terrace of the EWTN Rome bureau offices. After lunch they held a brief press conference.
Harbaugh, 53, has been head football coach for the University of Michigan since 2015. He played college football at Michigan from 1983-1986 and played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons from 1987-2000. He has seven children.
Speaking to EWTN News about his experience meeting Pope Francis, Harbaugh quoted his father-in-law, Merrill Feuerborn, who told him, “To live in a state of grace, put your trust in the Lord, and be not afraid.”
“When I met Pope Francis today, I was riding on a state of grace,” he said, “that feeling was beyond description. And I know that there's something that I'm supposed to do with that opportunity, with that encounter, of meeting the Holy Father. I'm going to pray about it.”
Harbaugh is in Rome April 22-30. He brought along his family as well as almost his entire team and staff – some 150 people. He said he wanted to give his players an experience they might not otherwise have.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, he brought the team and staff to Rome for a week of team-building, cultural and historical experiences, and of course, spring practices.
The aim of this trip was to “have an educational experience like none other,” he told EWTN News.
“Not all learning is done in a classroom or on a football field, you know? It's out connecting to people, and having a chance for our players and staff to see things they've never seen before, eat things they’ve never tasted, to hear a language they've never heard.”
One goal for the trip was to connect his team with people they otherwise might not have met, he said. Their first day in Rome, the group met and picnicked with a group of refugees, including several from Syria.
Later on Wednesday, Harbaugh and some members of the team and his family visited the SOS Children’s Village, a community made up of homes for children who are in positions of family or social hardship.
Harbaugh said that attending the general audience and meeting Pope Francis was an emotional experience, not just for him but for his team as well. Asked what he hopes his team will take away from the experience, he said just that “the relationship with God is a personal one.”
He said his suggestion for each of his players would be to spend time in silence and think and pray “about what it means, and what they should take away from it.”
“Because we don't always know what to do with it,” he continued. “I don't know what to do with the encounter I had meeting Pope Francis today. What exactly did it mean? What opportunity was given and what am I supposed to do with that?”
Immediately afterward, Harbaugh said he was able to speak with a priest from Detroit, Msgr. Robert McClory, about the experience: “And that was the advice that he gave me: to be silent, to pray, to be with God and listen, and you'll get it, you'll figure it out.”
Two players had the opportunity to get a little bit closer to the Pope during the audience, which Harbaugh chose through an essay competition. The winners, offensive lineman Grant Newsome and defensive tackle Salim Makki, both said they are inspired by Francis.
Attending the audience “was just an incredible experience,” Newsome said.
“Not only as a Christian, but as a person in general, just to listen to someone who is so internationally renowned as Pope Francis and to hear him and have him bless us was just an incredible experience for me and I know for a lot of the other guys on the team.”
Makki, a Muslim, said he looks up to Pope Francis as a hero. “He's always shown that Muslims and Christians and Catholics can combine – we're all brothers and sisters, we can co-exist together.”
Jack Wangler, a senior wide receiver told EWTN News, “I can speak for everybody, I think: this has been a once-in-a-lifetime trip.”
“It's been great to come here with the team and use it as a bonding experience and a cultural experience, to expand what we've learned in the classroom,” said Catholic fullback Joe Beneducci.
He told EWTN News that he remembers reading about the Church and the Vatican at school and watching St. John Paul II’s funeral on TV. “Coming here to see it in person, it put it all in perspective and made me appreciate it just that much more.”
“I think it's brought me closer to my faith as well, which is very nice.”
About the qualities of a good sportsman, Harbaugh said, “It talks about it in the Bible: strive hard to win the prize. To have that motivation, to have that quality of perseverance and discipline and drive is what really makes a good athlete.”
Sunday, before they leave to return to Michigan, Harbaugh’s infant son, John Paul, will be baptized at St. Peter’s Basilica. His daughter, Addison, will also make her first Holy Communion.
In the press conference, Harbaugh told journalists that if he accomplished nothing else in his life, to have met the Pope, and see his son be baptized and his daughter receive First Communion at the Vatican, would make him feel like “a blessed man.”
“This has been the experience of a lifetime.”
by Elise Harris
"The Lord shows us, through the Gospel, his wounds. They are wounds of mercy. It is true: the wounds of Jesus are wounds of mercy," the Pope told attendees of his April 12 Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Jesus, he said, "invites us to behold these wounds, to touch them as Thomas did, to heal our lack of belief. Above all, he invites us to enter into the mystery of these wounds, which is the mystery of his merciful love."
Pope Francis celebrated his Divine Mercy liturgy - which is a feast instituted by St. John Paul II and is celebrated on the Second Sunday of the Church's liturgical Easter season - for faithful of the Armenian rite in honor of the centenary of the Armenian genocide.
Also referred to as the Armenian Holocaust, the mass killings took place in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire systematically exterminated its historic minority Armenian population who called Turkey their homeland, most of whom were Christians. Roughly 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives.
Many faithful and bishops of the Armenian rite were present for Sunday's Mass, including Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II.
During the Mass, Francis also proclaimed Armenian-rite Saint Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Church, making the 10th century priest, monk, mystic, and poet the first Armenian to receive the title.
In his homily, during which he referred to the 1915 systematic killing of Armenians as "the first genocide of the 20th century," Francis said that it is through Jesus' wounds that we can see the entire mystery of Christ's incarnation, life and death.
From the first prophecies of Lord to the liberation from Egypt, from the first Passover and the blood of the slaughtered lambs to Abraham and Abel, "all of this we can see in the wounds of Jesus, crucified and risen," he said.
In the face of human history's tragic events, "we can feel crushed at times, asking ourselves, 'Why?'" the Pope noted.
"Humanity's evil can appear in the world like an abyss, a great void: empty of love, empty of goodness, empty of life," he continued, explaining that only God is capable of filling the emptiness that evil brings to both human history, and our own personal hearts.
Francis encouraged attendees to follow the path that leads from slavery and death to a land full of life and peace, saying that "Jesus, crucified and risen, is the way and his wounds are especially full of mercy."
He pointed to the saints as examples that teach us how the world can be changed beginning with the conversion of one's own heart. This conversion, he said, only happens through the mercy of God.
"What sin is there so deadly that it cannot be pardoned by the death of Christ?" he asked.
After his Mass, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to recite the Regia Coeli - a traditional Marian prayer given special emphasis during the liturgical Easter season.
In his address, the Pope noted how Jesus' encounter with Thomas in the upper room marked the first time the Lord showed the disciples the wounds on his body.
Thomas, who was not there the first time Jesus appeared to the disciples, was not satisfied with the testimony of the others and wanted to see for himself, Francis said, noting that Jesus waited patiently and offered himself to Thomas' disbelief.
"Upon the salvific contact with the wounds of the Risen Lord, Thomas manifests his own wounds, lacerations, humiliations," the Pope said, explaining that in the mark of the nails, the apostle found "sweetness, mercy and decisive proof that he was loved, awaited and understood."
"He finds himself in front of the Messiah full of sweetness, mercy and tenderness," the Pope observed, saying that it was this personal contact with the "kindness and patient mercy" of Jesus that made Thomas realize the true meaning of the Resurrection.
Just like Thomas was transformed by the love of God who is rich in mercy, we are also called to contemplate the Divine Mercy of Jesus that is found in his wounds.
Mercy "overcomes every human limit and shines on the darkness of evil and sin," Francis said, and pointed to the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee for Mercy as an intense time to welcome and deepen in the love of God.
He referred to the papal Bull of Indiction he released at last night's Vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday, which also served as the official announcement of the upcoming Jubilee for Mercy, and pointed to the bull's title "Misericordiae Vultus," or "The face of Mercy."
"The face of mercy is Jesus Christ. Let us keep our gaze upon him," he prayed, and led pilgrims in the Regina Coeli prayer.
---Police officer: “Your car is too heavily overloaded. I simply cannot let you continue like that. I’m going to have to take away your driver’s license.”
Driver: “You’re kidding me, right? The license can only weigh one ounce tops!”
--- When I look at chocolate, I hear two voices in my head.
The first one says: “You need to eat that chocolate.”
The other voice goes: “You heard. Eat the chocolate.”
Never Going Away Back at my high school for the tenth reunion, I met my old coach. Walking through the gym, we came upon a plaque on which I was still listed as the record holder for the longest softball throw.
Noticing my surprise, the coach said, "That record will stand forever."
I was about to make some modest disclaimer that records exist to be broken, when he added, "We stopped holding that event years ago."
Exercise Route My husband bought an exercise machine to help him shed a few pounds. He set it up in the basement but didn't use it much, so he moved it to the bedroom. It gathered dust there, too, so he put it in the living room.
Weeks later I asked how it was going. "I was right," he said. "I do get more exercise now. Every time I close the drapes, I have to walk around the machine."
Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about.
The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt."
Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about.
He said "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."
An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.
"Where would you like to sit?" he asked politely.
"The front row, please," she answered.
"You really don't want to do that," the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.
"No," he said.
"I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
"No," she said.
"Good," he answered.
What About My Hair
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white, Mom? 'Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.' The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, 'Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?'
What Do You Do When
A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if You had to arrest your own mother?'
He answered, 'Call for backup.'
"Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."
On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1391
Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." -Luke 10:16
"Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the blood we drink "shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins." For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:
For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord's death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1393
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Fourth Sunday of Easter - May 12th, 2019
The First Reading- Acts 13:14, 43-52
Paul and Barnabas continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered the synagogue and took their seats. Many Jews and worshipers who were converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to remain faithful to the grace of God. On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.” The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region. The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Israel’s mission—to be God’s instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth (see Isaiah 49:6)—is fulfilled in the Church. By the “Word of God” that Paul and Barnabas preach in today’s First Reading, a new covenant people is being born, a people who glorify the God of Israel as the Father of them all. The Church for all generations remains faithful to the grace of God given to the Apostles and continues their saving work. Through the Church the peoples of every land hear the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him (see Luke 10:16).
Adults - How are you an instrument of salvation to others?
Teens - How do you participate in the saving work of Christ?
Kids - How do you show others the love of Jesus?
Responsorial- Psalm 100: 1-2, 3, 5
R.We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R.We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
-What does it mean to be a sheep of God’s flock?
The Second Reading- Revelation 7:9, 14B-17
I, John, had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. Then one of the elders said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
The Church is the “great multitude” John sees in his vision today. God swore to Abraham his descendants would be too numerous to count. And in the Church, as John sees, this promise is fulfilled (compare Revelation 7:9; Genesis 15:5).
Read chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation and see how many descriptions of the Mass you can find.
The Holy Gospel according to John 10:27-30
Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
The Good Shepherd of today’s Gospel is the enthroned Lamb of today’s Second Reading. In laying down His life for His flock, the Lamb brought to fulfillment a new Passover (see 1 Corinthians 5:7), by His blood freeing “every nation, race, people and tongue” from bondage to sin and death. The Lamb rules from the throne of God, sheltering His flock, feeding their hunger with His own Body and Blood, leading them to “springs of life-giving waters” that well up to eternal life (see John 4:14). The Lamb is the eternal Shepherd-King, the son of David foretold by the prophets. His Church is the kingdom of all Israel that the prophets said would be restored in an everlasting covenant (see Ezekiel 34:23–31; 37:23–28). It is not a kingdom any tribe or nation can jealously claim as theirs alone. The Shepherd’s Word to Israel is addressed now to all lands, calling all to worship and bless His name in the heavenly temple. This is the delight of the Gentiles—that we can sing the song that once only Israel could sing, today’s joyful Psalm: “He made us, His we are—His people, the flock He tends.”
Adults - God wants to free us from sin and death. Is there a sin in your life that is keeping you from the freedom? Pray about it and ask the Lord for help. He sends help in many ways!
Teens - God worked through all of salvation history to bring the whole world into His family. Do you think of yourself as a critical part of the Universal Body of Christ? God thinks of you that way!
Kids - How often do you pray? How can you add some prayer time each day?