Monthly Archives: January 2016

4th Sunday of the Year – When the Going Gets Tough – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 4th Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

Life has its share of heartache and hardship.  We all face struggles, challenges, and conflict.  The question is, what guides and directs the words we say and the actions we do?  What aspect of our faith can serve as the essential compass to steer us through life?  The answer: LOVE.

Old compass on white background with soft shadow


Daily Mass: A Seed of Faith in a World of Sin. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Friday of the 3rd Week of the Year

The story of David and Bathsheba sounds like a Biblical soap opera, yet we are reminded that God’s grace overcomes sin – often through slow and steady growth that starts small.  Like a mustard seed, our faith in Christ confronts the challenges of this world and grows into a love that casts out all sin in the light of Christ.

mustard seed


Daily Mass: Seek God’s Light. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily – Thursday of the 3rd Week of the Year & The Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

The Light of Christ is like a lamp – meant to be set forth to give light to all.  St. Thomas Aquinas, through his study and prayer, sought the Divine Light, and he offers us an example to follow today.

Candlelight


4th Sunday of the Year – When the Going Gets Tough

when the going gets tough

Study:  Recall a time when you had to speak up in a difficult situation.  How did you face it?  What gave you strength to do it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to respond to challenging circumstances with love.  Call upon the Holy Spirit for the gifts you need.

Serve:  How can you support someone who is faced with a tough task right now?  How can you help them?

4th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Let’s start with a quick recap of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading: Jeremiah will be strengthened to preach a difficult message
  • Psalm: We proclaim God’s goodness, especially when life is tough
  • 2nd Reading: The Love of God shapes and directs our lives
  • Gospel: Jesus encounters opposition at Nazareth

The first reading, psalm, and Gospel all refer to moments that challenge us.  The prophets encountered it, the Psalmist sings about it, and the Lord himself met resistance and opposition to the message he proclaimed.  But note this: in spite of the difficulty they did it.

Sometimes saying what needs to be said is unpleasant and unwelcome.  We might want to avoid it or wish someone else could do it, but there are times in life when it’s up to us to deliver a tough message.  We know what needs to be said…and that it’s up to us to speak.

The key is how we say it.  How does our intention, our desire, and our tone convey a tough message?  The answer is found in the second reading: Love.  The love of Christ guides and directs every aspect of our lives – including those times when we are called to speak about a difficult topic.

This notion of “what” and “how” shows up repeatedly in the spiritual life:

  • What refers to the issue, content, and “facts” of a situation or circumstance
  • How refers to the manner in which it is conveyed – the way we do something

Our faith calls us to confront the reality of life, particularly when things are tough.  We need not fear engaging a difficult situation; rather, we draw on the love of Christ to guide us – both in what we say and how we say it – trusting that the Lord will provide us with the grace we need.

Let’s face it:  Life is tough!  But when the going gets tough, the tough get going…guided by God’s love.

 


Daily Mass: Timothy & Titus. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – the Feast of Sts. Timothy & Titus

We pass on the faith that was handed to us.  Like Saints Timothy & Titus, we are part of a vast chain of disciples – sharing the faith we have received so that the Good News of Jesus Christ may continue to touch hearts in our world today.

Timothy and Titus


3rd Sunday of the Year – The Spirit of the Lord in our Lives – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 3rd Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

We call upon the Spirit of the Lord to strengthen us, so that we in turn can share God’s Spirit with one another.  Working together, like St. Paul’s example of a body, the Lord empowers us in community to bring the Good News to the world.

Spirit of the Lord


Daily Mass: An Example of Mercy. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Friday of the 2nd Week of the Year

David’s example of mercy toward King Saul shows us a path to follow in our own lives.  Rather than returning evil with evil, we are invited to bring the love and grace of Christ to the situations before us.

RV6157_LancioGrande - mercy


Daily Mass: To See as God Sees. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Tuesday of the 2nd Week of the Year

Samuel meets the sons of Jesse to anoint one king of Israel.  Each son appears kingly, but God replies:

“Not as man sees does God see,
because he sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

May we see as God sees – both within our hearts and in the hearts of others – and respond with the love of Christ!

Sunglasses


3rd Sunday of the Year – The Spirit of the Lord

Pope_Francis_met_with_street_children_during_his_visit_to_the_Philippines_onJan_16_2015_Credit_ANSA_OSSERVATORE_ROMANO_CNA_1_16_15

Study: What is your favorite way to read Scripture – a devotional, chapter-a-day, daily Mass readings, or just a bookmark in the Bible?

Pray: Consider using a little bit of Scripture as part  of your daily prayer – think of it as a “spiritual multivitamin” for your health!

Serve: How is God’s Spirit directing your life – is there a task or opportunity that you feel prompted to act?

3rd Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

The readings this week are filled with power as we hear how God’s Word and Spirit touch our hearts.

  • 1st Reading – The Israelites hear the Word of God with joy
  • Psalm – God’s Word is Spirit and Life
  • 2nd Reading – The Lord’s Spirit works through us in many different ways
  • Gospel – The Spirit of the Lord is fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I suggest two thoughts for your consideration this week.  First, God’s Word continues to proclaim Good News in our world today, and we are invited to embrace the Lord’s message – allowing the mercy, love, joy, and peace of the Gospel to soak into our hearts.

My point here is about actively seeking the Lord in our daily life, making God’s Word a part of our regular spiritual diet.  By dwelling on the Good News we foster our Christian perspective to engage the challenges of daily life with courage and wisdom.  We know that there are plenty of difficulties and obstacles; we feast upon God’s Word for the strength to engage life at full power.

Second, with God’s Word in our hearts we live our faith as part of a larger community – sharing our particular gifts and talents for the good of all.  No one person possesses all gifts; rather, we cooperate (like Paul’s example of the parts of a body) and contribute our skills so that all might be blessed.

That means we:

  • Claim our gifts
  • Use our gifts
  • Recognize the gifts of others
  • All for the glory of God!

So, three final questions for your reflection:

  1. How are you allowing God’s Word to touch your heart?
  2. How is the Spirit of the Lord calling you this week?
  3. How might you be prompted to share your life with others?

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.  
(Luke 4:18-19)

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CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters


2nd Sunday of the Year – God Gives Good Gifts – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 2nd Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

At the wedding at Cana the Lord’s miracle of water to wine shows that God gives with quality and generosity.  This notion of gift is picked up in Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians.  These precious gifts – given by God – are meant to be used.  Our invitation today: to acknowledge the good things Christ has given and put them into practice.

monopoly

A quick shout out to my nieces and nephews who made my vacation so much fun and who shared their Scripture insights with me – that was a gift that I found truly precious!