Monthly Archives: April 2015

Good Friday – The Cross of Christ – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Good Friday Homily Podcast (10 minutes)

This homily was given on April 3, 2015 at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI.

The Cross of Christ – ugly, filthy with the blood of countless victims, jagged, and splintered – becomes the sign of the depth and breadth of agony Jesus endured.  As he embraces his suffering, the Cross becomes a bridge whereby he unites with all humanity, meeting us in our most profound moments of weakness and sin, and gives us hope through his triumph over death.

We must understand the Cross in the light of Easter joy:

  • For if we only focus on the Cross then we have no hope; life becomes dark and filled with despair.
  • And if we only focus on Easter joy then we have no respect for the gift of the Lord’s Passion; we do not appreciate the price that was paid for our salvation.

We look to the Cross and allow Christ’s Passion to touch our lives.  We unite with Jesus and give grateful thanks that he has redeemed us in every aspect of our lives.

Come to the Cross and unite your heart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

Be redeemed by Love Himself, who gave his life to save and set us free.

 


Good Friday – Sacrifice & Support

Crucifixion

Study:  Where have I made sacrifices in my life?  What do these sacrifices reveal about my values and priorities?

Pray:  Reflect on those who are suffering right now.  Draw near to them in your prayer, asking the Lord to give them strength.

Serve:  Who is carrying a cross in your life today?  How can you help them?

Good Friday Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (10 minutes)

For what would you give your life?  For who?

Perhaps this is too extreme as a starting point.  Perhaps the first question should be where in my life have I made consistent sacrifices?  Where in my life have I given up something because I believed in something more important?

Sacrifices reveal the depth and character of our heart.  They show our values, principles, and convictions in straightforward and direct ways.  Our sacrifices quickly point out the hidden parts of our soul – either to be confirmed/denied by the words we speak – and proclaim to others our inner self.

In general sacrifice means giving our lives – sometimes in simple service, minor inconveniences, labors of love, seasons of selflessness, or in extreme cases: offering our lives.  We make sacrifices all the time.

So did Christ.

As we read the Passion of the Lord today we discover the love Christ has for every human soul; the Lord willingly hung upon the Cross for our sins – sacrificing his innocent life for the pains and hurts we have inflicted upon one another.  His sacrifice reveals his love for us (even on our worst days) as something so precious that it is worth all the pain and humiliation that the devil could provide.

Where do we see ourselves in the Passion?  What crosses have we been given to carry – participating in some small way with the Cross of Christ?  Or are we like Simon of Cyrene or Veronica – assisting with others in their own journey to Calvary?  Are we making sacrifices or offering support for others in their need?  We read the Passion every year on Good Friday to remind ourselves not only of what the Lord has done for us, but also that we, too, have a part to play.  Our crosses participate in the Cross of Christ; our support for one another shares in the comfort which others offered to Jesus.

May this Good Friday drive us to our knees – thanking the Lord for what he did for us, and inspiring us to walk willingly with others in their need.

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The crucifixion, Pieter Lastman; 1616, Museum het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Holy Thursday – Giving & Receiving – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Holy Thursday Podcast (8 minutes)

This homily was given on April 2, 2015 at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI.

At the Last Supper Jesus teaches and commands his disciples:

  • Receive his Body & Blood
  • Give your life in service to others

In our reception of Holy Communion may we be strengthened and renewed to offer our lives, following the example of Christ.


Holy Thursday – Service & Sacrament

basin and towel

Study:  Reflect on the readings today.  How is the Lord inviting you to serve?  How has the Lord provided opportunities for you to receive him in Eucharist?

Pray:  Go to Mass and recommit your life to Christ – giving your life and receiving from Him what you need.

Serve:  Who has the Lord placed in your path to help?  What can you do right now to make a difference?

Holy Thursday Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (8 minutes)

Assembled together on the night before he died, the disciples celebrated the Passover meal with Jesus.  The recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses.  They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt.  They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.

And in the context of this great story of freedom, Jesus teaches and commands them to do two crucial things:

  • Give your life in service to others
  • Receive Christ in his Body & Blood

The Lord demonstrates by his own example: he washes the feet of his disciples – work that is reserved for servants – and commands them to do the same for one another.  There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol.  Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads from freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters.  Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.

During the course of the meal Jesus took that flat, unleavened bread and did something amazing.  Again, he teaches them that “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-23).  Note: this is not some vague, hazy statement!  The Lord defines the bread & wine in a new way, revealing to his disciples that he will nourish them as they embrace the new covenant of freedom through his death and resurrection.  And then he commands them to “take and eat…and take and drink…”in his name.

Giving and Receiving.  Offering our lives as we are strengthened by the Lord, we are fed so that we might live for one another.  God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.  May we come frequently to the altar – fulfilling the command of Christ – so that we might be renewed to live each day for the one who died and rose for our salvation.

eucharist


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