Monthly Archives: March 2016

Palm Sunday

Station - Jesus in Crucified

Study: Read the Passion narrative again; put yourself in the drama of the Lord’s death. Stand with Mary at the foot of his cross.

Pray: Take time to gaze at the cross. Look beyond the art to the reality of the Lord’s passion. Dwell upon his wounds and thank him for his sacrifice.

Serve: Consider who is in need of healing in your life. Are there people who are carrying a heavy cross? Might you be like Simon of Cyrene – perhaps able to help them with a part of the load?

Palm Sunday Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

How many times throughout our lives have we made the sign of the Cross? Stop and think: at Mass; meal prayers; morning & evening prayers; special gatherings; and moments of blessing and grace. This simple action, which we teach to children at an early age, invokes a connection with the passion of Jesus.

We adorn our homes with the Cross. A crucifix is a common gift to a new home; they are placed in bedrooms and common areas as a reminder that Jesus is the source of our help and strength.

We adorn ourselves with the Cross in many ways: a crucifix on a chain; a cross in our pocket; earrings; rings; bracelets; and all the extra cards, bookmarks, figurines, and miscellaneous items that remind us that Jesus died on a Cross.

The passion we read every year on this day focuses our attention on the central mystery of our faith. Out of love for us God sent Jesus, who gave his life on the Cross that we might have eternal life. Through his suffering and death, we recognize that God has made a pathway possible that we might all journey through this life to the gates of Heaven.

The Cross teaches us many lessons:
* Life is difficult, and at times painful
* Weakness and sin are part of our experience
* God identifies with our pain
* God dies that we might have life

At the core of our teaching the Cross stands as the testament of God’s love for us. On one hand the Cross is an embarrassment – after all, why would God (all powerful, all knowing, supreme) choose to be humiliated? Does that not mean that God is weak? Why could God not take away our sins in a way that showed majesty and splendor?

Yet on the other hand, the Cross is a statement that God meets us where we are in life. In our weakness, in our humiliation, in our low moments of doubt and sin God comes to us. Jesus, like us in every way but sin, understands our pain because through his Cross he shares in the suffering of the world. He knows us, and loves us even more.

Every time we make the sign of the Cross may we recall what the Lord endured for us. May the Cross be our strength as we trust in God’s love, and may we seek to follow that love as we journey through this life toward the world to come.


Note: this post was originally published on March 18,  2013.

5th Sunday of Lent – Claim the Mercy. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 5th Sunday of Lent Homily Podcast

We all sin, and sometimes our disastrous mistakes become public humiliations.  Yet like the woman in the Gospel today we encounter the Lord who simultaneously acknowledges the sin and blesses us with forgiving grace.  Through an honest appraisal of our hearts and an open acceptance of God’s love we can be renewed to live with power and joy.  Simply put, may we name the sin and claim the mercy.


Daily Mass: On the Way to the Cross. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily – Friday of the 4th Week of Lent

Daily Mass Readings

With some help from 4th graders at Cathedral School, Fr. Andrew comments on how John’s Gospel builds the tension that will ultimately lead Jesus to his Cross.

4th grade, part 2

Daily Mass: Our Stubbornness and God’s Mercy. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

Daily Mass Readings

There are times when we stubbornly cling to assumptions and thoughts which distance us from the Lord and one another.  The Lord invites us in the Gospel today to believe that we might have eternal life.


Daily Mass: Jesus our Savior & Judge. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Daily Mass Readings

The Gospel proclaims that we receive from Jesus what he received from his Father in heaven.  As Lord and savior, Christ will judge us at the end of time by our deeds, reminding us that we have a precious opportunity today to live our faith with power and joy.



Christ with Thorns, Carl Heinrich Bloch, before 1890, Hope Gallery, Salt Lake City, USA.

Daily Mass: Life-giving water. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Daily Mass Readings

Anyone who farms or gardens knows the crucial need for water.  Essential for life, water also calms our souls and heals our hearts.  Today’s Old Testament and Gospel readings remind us that Christ is the flowing water that brings life to the world.

5th Sunday of Lent – Mercy!

woman caught in adultery

Study:  Reflect on a time in life when you made a grave mistake or serious sin.  How did you face it?

Pray:  Is there something that is keeping you from the Lord or another person?  Ask the Lord for the grace to reconcile.

Serve:  Is there a situation in your life that offers you a chance to extend mercy?  Consider ways to make it happen.

5th Sunday of Lent Readings – Year C

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Have you ever been clearly in the wrong?  Made a mistake that was self-evident and completely your own fault?  Don’t worry…you’re in good company.  As much as we don’t like to admit it or claim it, we have all fallen short of the Lord’s commandments.  We sin.

There are a couple of easy traps that we need to avoid:

  • Assuming that it is no big deal, and downplaying our fault
  • Making it an all-consuming mountain, beyond hope of redemption

What we find in the Gospel today is something in between that exemplifies God’s Mercy.  The woman caught in adultery (where’s the man?!) is dragged before the Lord and forced to stand out in her shame as the people try to trap Jesus.

His response is profound.  “Let the one among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”  One by one the realization of their own sins causes the crowd to dwindle away; they have all fallen short, and they have all been in need of mercy.

Yet the Lord is not done.  After all, he is the only one without sin in the group!  He alone has the right to carry out judgment.  Yet this is what he says:

“Neither do I condemn you.  Go, and from now on do not sin.”

Note both points:

  1. Jesus acknowledges the sin.  It is clearly and directly stated.
  2. Jesus extends mercy.  His mercy begins her reconciliation and healing.

In light of this Gospel I suggest the following takeaways:

  • What sins do we need to acknowledge, confess, and claim?
  • What steps do we need to take to start the process of reconciliation?
  • We draw near to Christ…who extends mercy to us!

As we embark on the last weeks of Lent, may we never fear to approach the Lord in our sins.  For as we honestly claim our faults we draw forgiveness from the one who came to save and set us free.


The image is taken from the movie The Passion of the Christ.

4th Sunday of Lent: Open the Door of Mercy. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast – 4th Sunday of Lent

This Gospel parable is well known and applicable to our lives today.  There are times when we can identify with both sons – either in need of mercy or called to give it – and we find a Father who runs out to meet us where we are.  May we open wide the doors of our hearts…and encounter Mercy.

Holy Door

Mercy: We need it, God gives it. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s presentation on Mercy – 15 Minutes

How do we understand mercy as it applies to our lives?  What does it mean and how can we practice mercy – both receiving and giving – in our interactions with the Lord and one another?  This short talk offers some practical points and an example from Jesus in the Gospel of John.  Given during the “24 Hours with the Lord” at the Cathedral on March 4, 2016.

Mercy - Pope Francis

Daily Mass: Loving God and our Neighbor. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

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

Daily Mass Readings

With insights from four students in Mrs. Blomfeldt’s 1st Grade class at Cathedral School, Fr. Andrew discovers some practical ways to love the people in our lives.  (Hint:  Don’t bite your sister!  Clean your room, even if it’s as messy as a pig.)

1st Grade

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