April 26, 2020 – Third Sunday of Easter – Alleluia

I.  Child Abuse Prevention Awareness: Every April, the Nation engages in Child Abuse Prevention Awareness. In a country so prosperous, affluent, scientifically and electronically advanced, we suffer from a huge disease—the children of our country need our help. So many are neglected, mistreated, starved and unloved. Join the faithful in prayer and action to bring about real change. Read up on how to spot neglect and be active, report abuse. The Church is the Body of Christ. All members of the Church are linked to one another. We all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of children in our parishes, schools, families, and our local community. Five ways to help keep children safe are 1). Develop appropriate and loving relationships with your children; 2). Teach your children safety and healthy boundaries; 3). Know who has access to your children; 4). Learn the warning signs of abuse; 5). Report abuse to appropriate authorities. We must be active and diligent. Promise, Protect, Pledge and Pray. Locally, you may call law enforcement. (270-687-8888 / or 270-685-8444) or the Kentucky Child Abuse Hotline (toll-free: 1-877-KYSAFE1; 1-877-597-2331).


Pray for protection and healing for all impacted by child-abuse.

II.  Across the Diocese is a video series through which Bishop Medley communicates with the people of our diocese about various issues and topics. The videos often feature guests who serve in and around the Diocese of Owensboro, in the 32 counties of Western Kentucky. The last two have been taped from his home, the last one on Friday, April 17, from his back yard. Join Bishop Medley as he hosts this video conversation!  If you would like to receive the videos by email, you can subscribe at owensborodiocese.org/subscribe/. You may also view the videos at owensborodiocese.org/across-the-diocese/ or from our website at www.ststephencathedral.org.

 “We become what we eat and we see what we eat. We continue to walk.  Our hearts burn. Stay with us.”        ©LPi

III. Living Now to Pentecost! Having said that, the gift of Easter Faith lives on in your hearts and mine, as we celebrate these 50 days of Easter culminating in the luminous, audacious, and fearless spirit-filled solemnity of Pentecost!  We are called to activate our faith, and deepen it by more intense praying, the reading and reflection of the Scriptures, and the Spiritual and Corporeal Works of Mercy. Do not miss the richness of the Scripture readings the  Church gives us during this Easter season, so apropos for us and for the early Church, who for the most part, were celebrating the New Life in Christ from their homes, like we are now during this COVID-19 pandemic! Many have mentioned that this “shelter in place” provides a much needed hunger and time for more prayer.

IV.  Servant Leadership Needed!  During this time while we are not gathering for Mass, we are still able to accept nominations from the community of Saint Stephen Cathedral to serve on our Parish Pastoral Council for a three-year term (beginning date TBA). The purpose of the Council is to assist in carrying out the Mission Statement of our parish, set an overall vision for the parish, provide leadership, and advise the pastor. If you know a parishioner who has the good of the community in mind and a “servant’s heart,” you may wish to nominate that person. Self nominations are also accepted. Nominees must be 18 years of age or older. You may print a nomination form from our parish website and mail it, call the parish office, or simply send an email with the name of the person you wish to nominate to beni.howell@pastoral.org. The more diverse our council, the better! Please pray that we may again surface the right people to serve our community!

V.  The “Actions of the Apostles” or the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit!”  The Easter season is a pertinent time to reflect and integrate what is shared with us from the Acts of the Apostles. The first reading for this third Sunday of Easter, April 26, is the first half of the speech that Peter delivers after the disciples experience Pentecost. (Next Sunday we will hear the second half of Peter’s speech, Acts 2:36–41). Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, makes two very important points about Jesus’ Resurrection in the first part of Peter’s speech. First, everything about Jesus—from his mighty works and signs to his Resurrection from the dead—was accomplished by God. Second, Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead fulfills God’s “promise” to David. According to Luke’s portrayal of Peter’s preaching, the disciples experience of the resurrected and ascended Christ had led them to identify God as the author of every moment of their story. Because the “Acts of the Apostles,” which we proclaim throughout the entire Easter season, is filled with the zeal, courage and boldness of those early disciples, it is often referred to as the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit!” Am I a bold, courageous disciple today? Is my witness to Jesus infectious?

Lord, show us the path of life. Psalm 16