Monthly Archives: November 2015

2nd Sunday of Advent – Road Construction

Road Construction

Study:  Reflect on key relationships in your life.  Are there any obstacles that are keeping you from fully connecting with others?

Pray:  Invite the Lord to help you strengthen your spiritual life today.  Ask for guidance and wisdom to see clearly the path before you.

Serve:  How can you help someone in your life right now?  How can your life bring support and encouragement to another in need?

2nd Sunday of Advent Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Have you ever watched the construction of a new road?  The big kid in me loves watching the earth movers and dump trucks, as graders and front loaders transform the landscape.  The study, planning, design, coordination, and work are immense – and the heavier the traffic the greater the effort to insure that the road will be able to bear the load.

While there are many key issues that surface in the construction of a road, I would like to point out two elements:

  1. What are the obstacles that need to be cleared away?
  2. What materials need to be added for strength?

Obstacles can be unwanted elevation, swamps, trees, or any objects that are in the way.  They sometimes require enormous effort to remove them in order to create a smooth, level surface.  The work here is all about taking something away so that the road will be easy to use.

Often, however, there is a significant amount of material that needs to be added – to improve foundation, provide drainage or perhaps fill in gaps.   Removing the obstacle is not sufficient; material and supplies must be added to make the road strong and durable, so it can be used safely for a long time.

In the Gospel today John the Baptist quotes Isaiah to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus:

“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”  
Luke 3:4-6

This is serious work…for the human heart.  Heavy equipment and intense work are required to transform the landscape of our souls – preparing the highway that allows us to receive Jesus Christ.  And like above we have to ask:  What obstacles need to be removed?  What material needs to be added?

Is there something keeping us from the Lord and one another?  Time to get rid of it!  Does a relationship require attention and support to strengthen it?  Time to get to work!

May the words of John inspire us today, removing obstacles and strengthening our souls, so that the Lord will find us ready and prepared to journey with him today.


1st Sunday of Advent – Be Vigilant Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 1st Sunday of Advent Homily Podcast

A beginning is always a crucial time – how we start often defines the outcome of a project or task, as well as our attitude as we work.  We are reminded today to be vigilant: constantly prepared; swift to act; and disciplined in our effort.  May the start of our Advent season prepare us for a glorious Christmas!


Daily Mass: Thanksgiving Day. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Thanksgiving Day Mass Homily Podcast

What are you thankful for today?  When you count your blessings what comes to mind?  Gratitude is a powerful antidote for many spiritual sicknesses.  Take a moment today and consider the ways your life has been graced by God!


Daily Mass: Facing the Future. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily (Tuesday of the 34th Week of the Year)

How do we face the changes of life?  How do we look to the future with hope?  The Answer: with the help of Jesus Christ!


1st Sunday of Advent – Be Vigilant

resurrection - the Passion of the Christ

Study:  Name a time when you had to be vigilant.  What gave you strength to remain alert, disciplined, and prepared?

Pray:  Is there something in your life that requires vigilance right now?  Pray for the strength to remain focused.

Serve:  Does someone in your life need support to remain vigilant?  How can you help them?

1st Sunday of Advent Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

The Gospel reading paints a dark picture – filled with worry, anxiety, dismay, and fright.  It warns that some might foolishly respond with drunkenness, others by getting drowsy and paying no attention.  Here’s the proper approach:

“Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength” – Luke 21:36

Be vigilant.  But what does that mean?  Here are some key points:

  • Alert: focused, paying attention, aware
  • Disciplined: steadfast, consistent
  • Prepared: ready, able to act instantly

The idea is that we are actively engaged in the present moment – watching and waiting – so that when the situation requires our effort we can swiftly give our best.  It takes a lot of energy, effort, and concentration…but then again, at stake is our preparation for the savior of the world.

So as we step into this Advent – where do you see the need for vigilance in your life?  Are there situations or relationships that require attention?  Are there details that need to be addressed?  If the Lord came today are we ready to greet him, or would we be caught unprepared?

This holy season provides us with the gift of time to become vigilant – alert, disciplined, and prepared for the Lord’s return.

Happy Advent!

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The image is from The Passion of the Christ – The Resurrection of Jesus – Easter Day.  May we all have that expression on our faces as we wait for the Lord!


Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Christ the King Homily Podcast

Christ, our Savior, Lord, and Friend…is also our King.  What’s more, the King has given us some very specific commands – here are three:

  • Love one another
  • Forgive one another
  • Receive the Eucharist

As we follow the King may we carry out his commands!


Daily Mass: Jesus Wept. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast (Thursday of the 33rd Week of the Year)

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.  He sees the tribulation that will come, and he opens his arms to embrace the sadness…that he might touch it and bless it.  May we turn to the Lord in our moments of sorrow and allow his grace to guide us.  Sorrow is not the end, and with God’s help we will face our tears with hope.


School Mass: Grandparents’ Day. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Cathedral School Mass on Grandparents’ Day

Grandparents are a precious gift that God gives to us.  May the time we share and the memories we build with our grandparents inspire us as we live our lives with their example of love.


Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe

Pantocrator

Study:  Recall a time when you carried out a difficult command.  What gave you strength?

Pray:  Is there a difficult situation facing you right now?  Draw near to Christ in the Eucharist for wisdom and courage.

Serve:  Actions speak louder than words…so how can your actions today show others that Christ is your King?

Readings for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

We conclude the Church’s liturgical calendar with this Feast in honor of our Lord.  The title is one that speaks to a role that appears in history, literature, and culture:  the KING.

Here are some common key points to remember:

  • The King is recognized as ruler
  • The King’s power is acknowledged
  • The King’s decrees are to be obeyed

Sounds simple, right?  So how do we apply these concepts to Jesus?  Consider this:

  • If Christ is the ruler of my life, then all my words and actions must align with Him.
  • I turn to Christ for strength in my moments of powerlessness.
  • I act on Christ’s commands, obeying His teaching and precepts.

Practically, I suggest that we focus this week on three key commandments that Christ gave us:

  1. Forgive one another.  Reread chapter 18 in Matthew’s gospel for a review.
  2. Come to Mass. Check out chapter 6 in John’s gospel, or Mt. 26:26-28.
  3. Love one another.  Try John 15:12-17 for a refresher!

Remember: the King commands us to forgive, receive Him in the Eucharist, and love one another.  These are not suggestions, or helpful hints when we have free time!  These are commands…and as we acknowledge that Jesus is our King we also know that we can draw near to the Lord for the strength and wisdom we need to carry them out.

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This icon of Christ Pantocrator is on loan to the Cathedral of Christ the King from Fr. Andrew Ricci.  “Pantocrator” may be literally translated into “Ruler of All” or “Almighty” and it is an ancient way of depicting Jesus.


33rd Sunday of the Year – No One Knows the Hour – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Life offers difficulties and multiple uncertainties.  What’s more, no one knows the hour when we will be called by God out of this world.  So how do we live?

Answer:  Fully alive in the present moment!

How?

  • What’s your “bucket list” of unfinished business?  Get ‘er done.
  • Perform a daily diagnostic.  It’s called an Examination of Conscience.
  • Dare to share your heart.  Say “I love you” to the people in your life!