Monthly Archives: December 2015

Daily Mass: The Canticle of Simeon. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast (5th Day in the Octave of Christmas)

Simeon, filled with the Holy Spirit, held the baby Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.”  (Luke 2:29-32)

May our eyes be open, to see God’s hand touching and blessing our lives today!



Simeon’s Song of Praise, Aert de Gelder; circa 1700-1710, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague, Netherlands.

The Epiphany of the Lord – Light & Sight


Study: Reflect on a time when you clearly experienced God’s presence in your life.  How were you guided?

Pray:  Is there a challenging task confronting you today?  Ask the Lord for the Light to find your way.

Serve:  How can you be a Light for others?  How can your life help others to see clearly?

The Epiphany of the Lord Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

The Magi were guided by a star to Jerusalem.  They were led by its light, and along the way inquired among the people where they might find the king and were thus directed to Bethlehem.  I am struck by the two complementary components that were necessary for their journey:  Light & Sight.

  • Light: the star that blazed in the sky for all to see
  • Sight: the effort of the Magi to use the Light to find their way.

Without light, sight is impossible.  Without sight, the light is wasted.  Many people saw the light of the star, but the Magi acted on it – seeking through a long journey to find the King of Kings.

God’s light continues to shine in our world today.  Do we open our eyes and see with the gift of faith the wonders that the Lord sets before us?  Make no mistake: we believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, the Scriptures, and our fellowship “where two or three are gathered” in his name.

We are invited to follow the example of the Magi and seek the Lord in our lives – using our senses and resources to respond to the blessings we have have received.  May we use our Sight to follow the Light!

The Holy Family – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Holy Family Homily Podcast

The Holy Family had its mix of blessings and burdens – just like every family.  Yet through their struggles God was with them, guiding and guarded them in Faith, Hope, and Love…and the Lord will do the same for our families as well.

La Familia

Christmas: Christ Bridges Heaven and Earth. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Midnight Mass Podcast from the Cathedral – 95 Minutes

Fr. Andrew’s Christmas Homily Podcast

Like a bridge that connects two shores, Jesus Christ comes into our world to unite us to God and one another.  Fully human like us, he teaches us about God and guides us to heaven.  Fully divine, he has the power to overcome sin and death and bring healing and reconciliation to our lives.

Merry Christmas!

Blatnik Bridge

Christmas – The Nativity of the Lord

Birth of Jesus - Gerard_van_Honthorst_001

Study:  Consider your life.  Are there any parts that are wounded?

Pray:  Invite the infant Jesus into the humble stable of your heart.  He is familiar with simple surroundings; nothing you have is too poor, and everything you offer will be warmly received.

Serve:  Is there some way you can be a bridge that unites others this Christmas?  Some way that you can unite, heal, or help?

The Readings of Christmas:

Midnight Mass Podcast from the Cathedral – 95 Minutes

Fr. Andrew’s Christmas Homily Podcast

The birth of the Lord celebrates a great mystery: God takes on our human form in the person of Jesus.  Fully human and fully divine, the Son of God and the Son of Mary – Jesus comes into our world with a mix of what seems like incompatible qualities:

  • Born into poverty, yet bequeathed gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh
  • Greeted by working class shepherds, but sung to by a heavenly host of angels
  • Followed by violence from King Herod, yet guided by the angel Gabriel
  • Limited by human weakness, yet free from sin

Why are these extremes so great?  Why do we see in Jesus both the lowliness of our human limits and the heights of God’s glory?  To put it simply, Jesus Christ is the bridge between heaven and earth.

Think about it.  Because of sin we have been divided from God and one another.  Isolated by fear, temptation, weakness, sin and lies, we often find ourselves cut off from the Lord and at odds with those around us.  While the media is filled with examples of this division, we really only have to look into our own hearts to find the struggle that is part of the human condition.

And this is why Christ was born – to restore our relationships and unite us with a strength that is greater than anything we can do on our own.  Born like us, he enters our world so that we can know God; as the the Son of his Heavenly Father he will one day destroy the power of sin and death when he carries his Cross to die and rise that we might have eternal life.

Jesus forms the bridge that allows us to span the void caused by our sins.  He offers mercy and forgiveness to reconcile our hearts to God, and through this forgiveness our relationships on earth are renewed.  We are united; we are connected; we are graced with divine love, peace, and joy.

Where are the gaps in your heart this Christmas?  Where do you see the need for Jesus Christ to restore what was broken or wounded?  Draw strength from the one who knows exactly what it feels like (he is fully human after all) and yet has the grace to make it whole (which comes from his power as the Son of God.)

And may this Christmas bring healing and hope to your heart!  Merry Christmas, my friends!


The Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst, 1622, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Germany.

Daily Mass: What’s Your Message? Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – (23rd of December in Advent)

Like Malachi and John the Baptist, we are messengers.  What message are we sending?  What messages do we seek?  May others see Christ in the words we proclaim and the actions we offer.


Daily Mass: Praising God. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily – 22nd of December in Advent

Mary’s Magnificat proclaims God’s goodness.  Her praise of God’s grace is understood against the backdrop of the challenges and sorrows she will face – and we can look at her example to hold on to the Lord’s blessings as we face the struggles of our lives.

Botticelli_Uffizi_37 - Madonna-Magnificat


Madonna of the Magnificat, Sandro Botticelli;  1481, tempera, 118cm x 119cm, Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph


Study: What are some of the blessings you find in your family?  How has your family helped you to grow?

Pray:  Who in your family could use a prayer right now?  Take time to pray.

Serve:  Is anyone in the family struggling?  How can you help?

Holy Family Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Family.  That group of people we did not pick (God did) who are with us throughout the course of our lives.  Some people come from big families, others are tiny.  Every family has history, blessings, struggles, and unique qualities.  Parts of family life are messy – parts are bliss.

The same is true for the Holy Family.  A close reading of the scriptures shows the following:

  • Homeless, yet visited by Angels, Shepherds, and Wise Men
  • Persecuted, yet guided by the Angel Gabriel
  • Frantic with a lost child (3 Days!), yet amazed by his discovery in the Temple
  • Touched by sorrow and death, yet blessed with Love, Joy, and Peace

And God was with them.  Good times and bad, they carried on with the strength of the Heavenly Father who bestowed on them their Son.

May we do the same.  In the ups and downs of our families we renew ourselves in the Lord (who really does understand family life) and trust that Christ will guide us in love.


Holy Family, Matthias Stom.  Circa 1640; oil on canvas; 945mm x 1245mm; Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya; Barcelona, Spain.

4th Sunday of Advent – Leap for Joy! Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 4th Sunday of Advent Homily Podcast

Joy is one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit that flows from the heart of Heaven.  It bubbles up from the Good News that we welcome with eagerness and share with conviction.  Two thoughts as we prepare for Christmas:

  • Where do we discover Joy in our lives?
  • How do we share Joy with others?

May the Joy of Jesus fill our hearts, transform our lives, and spread to those God sets before us today!

Daily Mass: God Speaks in our Dreams. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – 18th of December in Advent

God sends the angel Gabriel to speak to Joseph in his dreams – the unguarded place in our mind where our personal walls and fences drop as we sort out problems.  Perhaps like Joseph, we might look for the Lord to speak in our we seek new ways to live our faith.

Gods-Dreams (1)

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