The Good Shepherd and St. Pio – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings from the 4th Sunday of Easter, and in particular, Our Lord’s teachings on the role of the Good Shepherd.  At the end of this episode, Msgr. Esseff offers a prayer with St. Padre Pio for healing.

Prayer for Healing

Beloved Padre Pio,
Today I come to add my prayer to the thousands of prayers offered to thee every day by those who love and venerate thee. They ask for cures and healings, earthly and spiritual blessings, and peace for body and mind. And because of thy friendship with the Lord, He heals those thou doth ask to be healed, and forgives those thou forgiveth.

Through thy visible wounds of the Cross, which thou didst bear for fifty years, thou wert chosen in our time to glorify the crucified Jesus. Because the Cross has been replaced by other symbols, please help us to bring it back in our midst, for we acknowledge it is the only true sign of salvation. As we lovingly recall the wounds that pierced thy hands, feet and side, we not only remember the blood thou didst shed in pain, but thy smile, and the invisible halo of sweet-smelling flowers that surrounded thee, the perfume of sanctity.

In thy kindness, please help me with my own special request:

[mention here your petition, making the Sign of the Cross]

Bless me and my loved ones. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Pio

O God, Thou didst give Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin priest, the great privilege of participating in a unique way in the Passion of Thy Son, grant me through his intercession the grace of . .  .  [name your request] which I ardently desire; and above all grant me the grace of living in conformity with the death of Jesus, to arrive at the glory of the resurrection.

Glory be to the Father . . . [three times].

 

 

Who are you? Your Catholic Identity on Divine Mercy Sunday w/ Msgr. John Esseff

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Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings for Divine Mercy Sunday and it’s meanings for our lives.  He discusses the identity of the Christian, and in particular, what it means to be a “Catholic”.

From the NAB

Reading 1 ACTS 5:12-16

Many signs and wonders were done among the people
at the hands of the apostles.
They were all together in Solomon’s portico.
None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them.
Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord,
great numbers of men and women, were added to them.
Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets
and laid them on cots and mats
so that when Peter came by,
at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.
A large number of people from the towns
in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered,
bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits,
and they were all cured.

 

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   

Divine-Mercy-12

 

 

 

Conference 4: Easter Sunday – That All May Be One: A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. John Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 4: Easter Sunday – That All May Be One:  A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference 4       He is Risen…He Is Not Here

 Theme:      He is known through the Breaking of the Bread – Luke 24: 13-35

Reflection:

Grieving Jesus’ death, and worried about their future, the disciples walked to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  The risen Christ embraces their anxiety as He meets them on the way.   While their eyes were kept from recognizing Him, their hearts burned within while He talked with them.

Perhaps you, too, have had your heart “burning” within…return to the moments on this journey when you have experienced God’s presence the most.

  • What meditations most spoke to you?
  • What words enflamed your hearts?
  • What did Jesus say to you?

Finally, trust that God is pursuing you.  God wants you and will tirelessly call you to that mysterious encounter known as prayer.

Reflection is taken from The Journey to Jerusalem – a Lenten Retreat by Father Mark Toups                      

 

 


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 3: Holy Triduum – That All May Be One: A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. John Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 3: The Holy Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) – That All May Be One:  A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

The Paschal Mystery

The Last Supper…Passion…Death…Burial

Theme: Jesus’ love, humility, suffering, dying – John 13 – 18 

Holy Thursday The Lord’s Supper

  • Jesus washes the disciples’ feet John 13: 1-20
  • Jesus announces Judas’ betrayal John 13: 21-30
  • The Bread of Life Discourse John 6: 22-51
  • Take and eat…this is my body 26: 26-30
  • Jesus’ passion, death, resurrection

Eucharist is the gift of Jesus, suffering, dying, rising.
We are Baptized into Jesus, we are to suffer, die, and rise…

My Suffering: Wounds in the Sacred Heart of Jesus – When did I suffer, die, rise?

  • As a child – sexual & physical abuse; being made fun of; called names; rejected; did I relate my suffering to Jesus’ suffering?
  • As a teenager – bullying; rejection; divorce of parents; did I realize that the depth of my suffering could be united to the wounds of Jesus?
  • Throughout my life, what were – and are – my little and big crosses? Have I united them to Jesus’ wounded Heart?

 

Good Friday: The Passion, Death, and Burial of Jesus

  • You are invited to reflect on Jesus and your own experiences of suffering during these days of rejection, abandonment, condemnation, torture, death, and burial.
  • When were you lied about? falsely accused? rejected?  scorned? abandoned?
  • Who was your Peter? Judas?

The friend who deserted you?  The person who ruined your reputation?

  • Who was your Simon? Veronica?  Mary?  John?

Suffering and death are not the final answer…

  • The Christian life is one of JOY…always ends in happiness…in GLORY.
  • Mary took Jesus down from the Cross…held Him in her arms… prepared Him for burial…laid Him in the tomb…went home with John – John 19: 38-42

Holy Saturday with Mary

          Spend Saturday with Mary…be with her…talk to her… listen to her


Forgiveness Litany

The Lord spoke very clearly when He said: “And so, when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your failings, too”. Mark 11: 25

Lord Jesus, I ask that You give me the grace to forgive any person who has hurt me at any time in my life.  I ask, too, that I may be forgiven those persons whom I have hurt.

Significant areas of forgiveness may include:

God, I forgive YOU for:

Lord, I forgive MYSELF for:

Lord, I truly forgive my MOTHER for:

Jesus, I forgive my FATHER for:

Lord, I extend my forgiveness to my BROTHERS and SISTERS for:

Lord, I forgive my RELATIVES for:

Jesus, I forgive my HUSBAND/WIFE for:

Jesus, I forgive the PEOPLE with whom I work for:

Jesus, I forgive my BOSS for:

Lord, I forgive those of DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS for:

Lord, I forgive those who have harmed me ETHNICALLY or RACIALLY for:

Jesus, I pray especially the grace to forgive the ONE PERSON who has HURT ME the MOST:

Lord, I beg pardon of all those persons whom I HAVE HURT most deeply:

Thank You, Jesus, that I am being freed of the evil of unforgiveness.

 May Your Holy Spirit fill me with light and let every dark area of my mind be enlightened.


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 2: Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – That All May Be One: A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. John Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 2: Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – That All May Be One:  A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

The Paschal Mystery

Unbelief…Darkness…Betrayal…Abandonment…

Theme:      The Coming of Jesus’ Hour  John 12: 20-50

         The Anointing at Bethany  John 12: 1-8                                 

  • Jesus knows He’s going to suffer and die although the

apostles and friends are unaware

  • Mary’s anointing, thought useless and extravagant by Judas, foretells the anointing for Jesus’ burial 
  • Reflection: In my life, what are those events that have made me say:  If only I had known, I would have………
  • Jesus’ Hour of Darkness John 12: 27-50
  • Jesus is troubled…it was for this purpose that He came to this hour
  • Judas betrays Jesus Luke 22: 1-6      

Reflection:  What is my darkness…sinfulness…sin?  1 John 1: 5-10      

         O Holy Spirit to reveal to me my sinfulness.                                                            

         What is my hour of darkness…when have I turned away from the light?  John 3: 16-21


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 1: Palm Sunday – That All May Be One: A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. John Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 1: Palm Sunday – That All May Be One:  A Holy Week Retreat /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Theme:  KINGSHIP OF JESUS

Why does God, Who made all of creation, love US so much?

  • 3 galaxies for every one person in the entire world…ex. keystone college telescope –
  • 7 billion people in the world on planet earth… why is God so interested in humankind? This is a great mystery.
  • God leaves the 99… for example the angelic world, all creation, and comes to our human world…WHY? g.  Adam and Eve – original sin
  • God the Father’s Plan – Ephesians 1: 3-6 – God wanted to save humans He made because He LOVES US.
  • Jesus – Only-begotten Son of God the Father – it is in and through HIM that we are saved.
  • Through the Holy Spirit, all mankind has become ONE – universality of all the living
    • Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • “My kingdom is not of this world… John 18: 33-38 

Scriptural References to Kingship      

            Isaiah 24: 23 – The Lord of hosts will reign on Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem, glorious in the sight of the elders…        

            Zechariah 14: 4. – Messiah would come to Jerusalem from the Mount of  Olives       

            Matthew 21: 1-11 – All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet saying: Tell ye the daughters of Sion, behold the king comes to thee, meek and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass.    John 12: 12-16                                     

            John 18: 33-37.   Jesus before Pilate – Are you a king?    

Reflections:   

What is it to belong to the universal Kingship of Jesus?     

Is Jesus able to enter into my heart and my life? 

  • Commandments – Love of God…love of neighbor
  • The Beatitudes: – Luke 6: 11-36. OR Matthew 5: 1-12 – Who is my neighbor today?
  • Excerpts from: Homily on the Feast of Our Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

“The sole conqueror of the human heart is Christ the King…there was never any king simultaneously just, a redeemer, gentle and seated on a donkey, who came to Jerusalem, unless this is He who alone is King of kings, God the Redeemer, Jesus.  He is kind, gentle, and abundant in mercy for all those who call upon Him, as it is written.”

Reflection:

Is Jesus, my Lord and King, able to enter into my heart for and my life… and remain as my King?


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

BKL209 – The Fifth Sunday of Lent – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

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On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, Msgr. Esseff discusses the need to believe in Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Taken from Gospel of St. John Chapter 11

 

The Death of Lazarus

11 Now a certain man was ill, Laz′arus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Laz′arus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Laz′arus. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer[a] in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Laz′arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Laz′arus is dead; 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus the Resurrection and the Life

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz′arus[b] had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles[c]off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life;[d] he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

Jesus Weeps

28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; 34 and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Laz′arus, come out.” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him;

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical Missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

 

“Are you blind although you can see?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Building a Kingdom of Love – Are you blind although you can see?

Gospel JN 9:1-41

1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him.
4 We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay,
7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Silo’am” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?”
9 Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.”
10 They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”
11He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Silo’am and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.”
12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.
14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
15 The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them.
17 So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight,
19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
21 but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.”
22His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if any one should confess him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.
23Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.”
24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.”
25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?”
28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.
29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.
31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.
32 Never since the world began has it been heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind.
33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?”
36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.”
38He said, “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”
40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?”
41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical Missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

 

 

The First Scrutiny – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Discerning Hearts Podcast

On this Third Sunday of Lent, Msgr. Esseff discusses the need for “The Scrutinies” in the life of the newly Elect. But he also emphasizes, during this time of Purification and Enlightenment, how they can also serve as a source of grace for every member of the Church.  The First Scrutiny is based on the encounter of Jesus with the Woman at the Well.

Taken from Gospel of St. John Chapter 4

There came a woman of Samar′ia to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samar′ia?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain;[a] and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

27 Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the city and were coming to him.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical Missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world.

BKL386 – “When was your Transfiguration” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the feast of the Transfiguration.  He asks us to take time and prayerfully reflect and ask God to show you those moments of “transfiguration” in our lives.

Gospel   MK 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved