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

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

Msgr. John Esseff reflects on the significance of the fourth Sunday of Easter and the Gospel passage about the Good Shepherd and the transformation of the apostles into instruments of Christ’s work. The role of believers as shepherds in their respective capacities echoes Christ’s sacrificial love for his flock.

Msgr. Esseff also includes a prayer for healing invoking St. Padre Pio’s intercession: one that reminds us of the power of Christ’s crucifixion as a symbol of salvation and healing.

Discerning Hearts Reflection Questions:

  1. Post-Resurrection Transformation: How does the podcast describe the transformation of the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus?
  2. Role of Shepherds: How can individuals fulfill their roles as shepherds in their families, communities, and professions?
  3. Sacrificial Love of Christ: How can believers emulate Christ’s love in their interactions with others?
  4. Significance of the Good Shepherd: Why is the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd important in Christian theology?
  5. Prayer and Intercession: Reflect on the significance of prayer and intercession, particularly through saints like St. Padre Pio. How can prayer deepen one’s connection to Christ and aid in healing and spiritual growth?

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 Because the Cross has been replaced by other symbols, please help us to bring it back in our midst, for we acknowledge it is the only true sign of salvation.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].

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.

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