St. Paul lays out a problem and a solution in the 1st Reading today. In the face of sin and death, Jesus Christ conquers all. As we face the struggles before us, may we turn to the Lord for the grace we need. After all, the victory is His.
Monthly Archives: October 2015
The images of a mustard seed and yeast remind us that little things can bring about big changes. The spiritual virtue of Hope empowers us to face our lives with the grace of Christ, who will work through us in little ways to make a difference in the world.
Study: Consider the people who inspire you. What qualities do they possess that speak to your mind and heart?
Pray: Invoke your favorite saint(s) in you daily prayers. Remember that they are cheering you on the journey of faith!
Serve: How can you be an example and witness to others? How can your life draw others closer to the Lord?
When you think of saints, what comes to mind?
- Angel wings?
- Halos and extra holiness?
- Serene, smiling faces in clean white robes?
How about this: survivors!
Saints come in all shapes and forms – men & women, young & old, rich & poor, with a variety of abilities, challenges, and opportunities. Yet all of them share some common traits:
- They had their share of struggles. Life brought them obstacles and difficulties.
- They had their share of blessings. They experienced beauty and grace.
- They made mistakes. Sometimes their sins were epic…with horrible consequences.
- They returned to Christ. Over, and over, and over again!
We celebrate the saints this Sunday, recognizing in their lives the hope we have in Jesus Christ. The Lord makes the path to heaven possible, and the saints have walked on the way before us. They made it! Not because they were perfect, but because they turned (and returned) to the Lord.
They are our inspiration. In our struggles, in our blessings, in our mistakes…we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. We have hope that the one who bridged the gap between heaven and earth will continue to support and guide us on our journey to eternal life.
Do you have favorite saints? Call upon them for help! Are you unfamiliar with the saints? Check out any of the links below and get started learning some more about the supernatural heroes who cheer us on to eternal victory.
Mary and all the Saints…PRAY FOR US!
All Saints Picture, Albrecht Durer; 1511, oil on panel, 441 x 500 pixels, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
The grace of Jesus Christ brings power to our lives. We have the opportunity to draw on Christ and share his grace with others, especially as we live our vocation and help others to find their own!
Are you looking for some practical ways to transform your life? Do you long for something special, filled with power, purpose, and meaning? Fr. Andrew looks at 3 areas (Self, Others, God) and applies them to the ordinary and routine elements of daily life. This Theology on Tap presentation was given at Vintage Italian Pizza (VIP) in Superior, WI on October 22, 2015.
We see the signs of nature and know how to respond…the Lord invites us to do the same for our heart!
This daily Mass homily was given on October 23, 2015 at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI.
St. Paul reminds us:
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
May we acknowledge our sins and embrace the freely given gift of grace!
This daily Mass homily was given at Cathedral of Christ the King on October 22, 2015.
Study: Where have you seen signs of God’s grace at work in your life? How did it change you?
Pray: Are there people or circumstances in your life that are wounded or hurting? Pray for healing power!
Serve: Do you see someone in need? How can you help them?
The readings this week reveal a common theme of divine power:
- 1st – The Lord delivers his people
- Psalm – “The Lord has done great things for us”
- 2nd – Christ the great high priest
- Gospel – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus
Throughout these scriptures the Lord comes with dynamic energy: liberating, saving, healing and redeeming. This is Good News! In the midst of the challenges and struggles of human life we find Jesus coming to us – meeting us where we are – with the transformative power of his grace.
With this power in mind, I would suggest two points for consideration this week:
- What in my life needs to receive the Lord’s power?
- How can I share my life to give the Lord’s power?
Let’s start with receiving. Where in my life am I wounded, hurting, or helpless? Do I identify with Bartimaeus, calling upon the Lord for pity? If so, our prayer (in private and at Mass) can be directed to heaven…asking for the grace we need to keep going.
Giving means we allow the Lord’s power to work through us. Giving requires that we see the needs of those around us, determine a proper response, and act in a manner worthy of Christ. We become the Lord’s hands and feet in service to others; our words speak encouragement and hope.
God continues to work with power in our world today, giving us all the opportunity to open our hearts to the endless grace of Christ. May we draw near to the Lord with confidence and allow his strength to work through us as we touch the hearts of those we meet.
Jesus Christ shows us that suffering is a pathway, not a destination. Through suffering we experience a purification – whereby we grow and discover new insights through the process of challenge, pain, and difficulty. God permits suffering that we might be changed…for the good. For remember: the suffering of Good Friday will be transformed into the joy of Easter Day.
We are thus consoled and challenged by these words. Consoled, in that we take hope that the triumph of Christ on the Cross will one day be our triumph. He understands our suffering (he’s already been through his own) and we can cling to his mercy and grace.
Challenged, in that we are invited to drink from the cup of suffering. Like Christ, we pray that the cup will pass by, but like Christ we will accept what God sets before us – opening our hearts to God and allow this process to transform us.
Study: Consider an experience of suffering in your life. What lessons did you learn? How did you change and grow?
Pray: Many people carry heavy crosses every day…pray for them that they find the strength and grace they need.
Serve: Many people carry heavy crosses every day…how can you help them?
The readings today weave together around some common themes:
- 1st Reading – The Servant who suffers to ransom others
- Psalm – We trust in the Lord’s mercy
- 2nd Reading – Jesus, tested in every way, sympathizes with our weaknesses
- Gospel – Christ came to serve and offer his life…inviting us to do the same
Let’s start with Jesus. The Lord’s mission included not only teaching and healing, but was most clearly articulated in his death and resurrection for the life of the world. Christ died for our sins – taking our place by his suffering on the Cross for the evil we have done. His resurrection blazes a trail for us that leads to Heaven.
It is crucial to note that suffering is the path, not the goal. God the Father did not choose Jesus to suffer out of a desire for pain, but to bridge the gap between the human and divine. The Lord is the High Priest whose suffering draws near to a wounded and broken humanity. Like us in all things but sin, Jesus embraces us as he stretched out his hands on the Cross.
The victory of the Resurrection reveals suffering as the doorway, a path that when taken purges and cleanses, through which Christ has passed to break the bonds of sin and death. Suffering does not end in suffering; it leads to a freedom in Christ that is filled with grace, mercy, and peace.
This message has elements of consolation and challenge for us today. The consolation? We look to Christ for our redemption – turning to the Lord whose saving death and resurrection give us eternal life.
The challenge? We are called to face our suffering, recognizing in the crosses of our lives the path of redemption that God sets before us. In other words, we drink from the cup of Christ’s suffering – but we do it with conviction, faith, and hope.
The suffering we face today is part of our transformation as disciples. We engage the challenges of this life, not because we welcome pain, but because we see God’s hand at work in our struggles to purify our hearts and desires. Through this process we offer our lives, following the example of Jesus Christ to bring life to those in our midst.
Drink from the cup. Consider the sufferings of today as an offering to the Lord – given out of love that our lives might be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ!
La crucifixion, Philippe de Champaigne; 1644-1646, 800 x 600 pixels.