Seminarian Reflection | Mr. Peter Schirripa - Saint John's Seminary
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Seminarian Reflection | Mr. Peter Schirripa

March 23, 2021

On Sunday, March 21st, my classmates and I were instituted as Lectors. The day before our installation, we spent the morning in silent prayer. To conclude our morning of prayer, Father Barnes offered Mass. At that Mass, God’s Providence would have us hear the following words from John’s Gospel. The guards, referring to the words of Jesus, said, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” (John 7:46)

I found these words to be especially fitting for the occasion. The guards’ astonishment at Jesus’ presence demonstrates a central fact about our faith. Namely, that faith and conversion are sparked by what is heard. In other words, a true encounter with the Word changes us. Whenever God’s word is spoken, something happens. After all, “the word of God is living and active,...discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

On Sunday, as I was instituted to the ministry of Lector, I found myself praying with these words from John’s Gospel. I asked God for the grace to conform my life to His word. I asked Him for the grace to preach and to proclaim his word with love. I pray that with His help and guided by His word, I can live my priesthood in such a way that moves hearts. Consumed by God’s grace, I hope that when I preach His word, others will say, with the guards in John’s Gospel, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” (John 7:46) With immense gratitude, I thank God for bringing me ever closer to ordination.

Reflection by: Mr. Peter Schirripa | II Theology

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