Monthly Archives: March 2016

Daily Mass: Hearing & Speaking Good News. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Thursday of the Octave of Easter

Daily Mass Readings

Continuing the readings from yesterday, we discover how the disciples hear the Good News in the Scriptures and then boldly share the message of Jesus Christ with others.  May we do the same!


Daily Mass: Encountering Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Wednesday of the Octave of Easter

Daily Mass Readings 

Two great readings!  The road to Emmaus shows how two disciples encountered Christ; the miracle performed by Peter & John in the name of Jesus reveals how the disciples now continue the Lord’s work.  We, too, are invited to encounter the Lord so that we can share what we have received with one another.

jesus_breaking_bread


Daily Mass: Transformed by the Resurrection. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily – Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

Daily Mass Readings

Both Peter and Mary Magdalene are transformed by the power of the resurrection: Peter, formerly bound by fear, is now on fire to spread the Good News; Mary, overcome by sorrow, is now filled with joy.  What in our life needs to be touched by the power of Christ’s resurrection?  How can Easter transform our lives today?

transformation


2nd Sunday of Easter: Healing, Speaking, and Believing

Easter Banner 2010 copy

Study: Reflect on your life right now.  What needs to be touched by the power of Christ’s resurrection?

Pray: The resurrection of Jesus brings power and hope to all believers; pray for God’s grace in your daily life.

Serve:  How might the Good News of Christ shine through your words and actions today?

2nd Sunday of Easter Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

I continually marvel at the power of the Resurrection of Christ in the lives of the apostles.  They are different people!  Standing in the light of Easter, touching and speaking to the Risen Lord, they can’t go back – their lives are forever changed and empowered to proclaim Good News.  Check this out:

  • 1st Reading – Signs & Wonders performed by the Apostles
  • Psalm Response – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”
  • 2nd Reading – John proclaims the Good News of Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus appears to his Disciples, and Thomas moves from doubt to belief

Note this: it wasn’t the miracles, healings, or teachings of Jesus that brought about this change.  It was the resurrection; all these people who formerly followed Jesus are transformed into a new creation by the experience of the Easter.  They are freed from fear and no longer bound by sin.  Their lives are shot through with grace, mercy, peace, and joy.

I want this.  I want this for every person I meet, for every person I know, and certainly for my own heart.  To bask in the light of Christ raised from the dead – to know that God has built a bridge that covers the gap from our weakness to the glory of Heaven – is to live with a power and conviction that brings the Lord’s life to a world in need of Good News.

So today:

  1. What needs to be healed in our lives?
  2. How might we proclaim Good News to others?
  3. How might we foster our faith in the Lord…and witness Easter joy?

Our faith is not a history lesson.  Christ’s resurrection continues to bring change and renewal to our lives today.  May we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Easter glory to shine in our lives.

 


Easter – Our Resurrection Joy!

Easter Lily

Study:  Where in my life have I discovered God’s strength and grace?  How have others helped me?

Pray:  Where do I need God’s strength right now?  Call upon the Lord with boldness to face the challenges of life.

Serve:  How can I be an instrument of God’s strength to another?  How can I help someone today?

Easter Vigil Readings

Easter Day Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (7 minutes, given at Cathedral on April 4, 2015)

I can only imagine the surge of excitement that went through the disciples as the word was shared.  Beyond the agony of the Cross and the sorrow of the Tomb on that first day of the week the message was proclaimed:  He’s Alive!

And everything changes.  This group of disciples – bound by fear and selfishness – are transformed with a new strength and conviction.  Their encounter with the Risen Lord will empower them to face the obstacles of this world with joy and hope.  They have seen the risen Christ…what is there to fear?  They have embraced the one who has conquered sin and death – there is NOTHING that can shake their confidence in the light of Easter morning.

This same strength comes to us.  Like the first disciples, we can turn to Jesus and allow his saving grace to renew us with a strength far beyond our own.  We can claim a hope that sustains us in the midst of our challenges and struggles.  The Easter sunrise brings light to the darkest corners of our hearts.

What in our lives needs to be touched by Jesus Christ?  We are invited to boldly come forward, receive his resurrection strength, and face whatever this world presents with confidence: the victory of Christ enlivens us to travel through life with the conviction that the grace he gave his disciples continues in our hearts today.

May this Easter season be a time of transformation and renewal; a time where we embrace the gift of our lives with a new freedom and conviction.  In the light of this Easter, may we follow the one who leads us from sin and death to the abundance of life…in this world, and the world to come.

Happy Easter!

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.


Good Friday – The Cross of Christ

Good Friday

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, given at Cathedral on April 3, 2015)

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.

This post was originally published on April 3, 2015

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.


Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper

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, given at Cathedral on April 2, 2015)

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

This blog was originally posted on April 2, 2015.

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.