Monthly Archives: August 2017

Daily Mass: Be prepared! Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 21st Week of the Year

The Lord invites us to stay awake and alert so that when he calls us we are ready to respond.  It begs a question: Do I have any unfinished business that needs to be addressed today?  May we examine our hearts and take whatever steps are necessary to be prepared to follow Jesus.

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Daily Mass: A tale of two behaviors. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 21st Week of the Year

The contrast between the first reading and the Gospel shows two very different examples of behavior.  It begs a question: How does our faith help us to live in the routine and everyday challenges we encounter?

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Daily Mass: The death of John the Baptist

Mass Readings – The Passion of St. John the Baptist

John the Baptist precedes Jesus in his birth, preaching and death.  John’s witness to the Lord and the giving of his life inspire us to consider how we offer our lives each day to Christ…until the day when the Lord takes us by the hand at the hour of our own death.

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22nd Sunday of the Year: The role of suffering

Study:  Recall a moment when you encountered personal suffering.  How did your faith in Christ help you face it?

Pray:  Many people are suffering right now in our world.  Pray for those in need and join your heart with them to God.

Serve:  Where is the suffering face of Christ in your life right now?  How can you help another who is in need?

22nd Sunday of the Year Readings

Some of the toughest questions I routinely encounter as a priest occur during sickness or untimely death. In the midst of great suffering and pain, a loved one comes up to me and asks, “Father, why did this have to happen? Why do they have to suffer? Why doesn’t God take the pain away?”

In the anguish of the moment no answer is adequate; the pain hurts too much, and seeing another suffering is often too hard to describe with words. Our hearts feel more than we can say, and the emotions overflow the limits of our soul.

We encounter suffering in many ways: at the graves of loved ones; in hospital and nursing home rooms; at the bedsides and wheel chairs of homebound; through news stories of tragedy; and in quiet moments all alone. Many of us are familiar with the grief and pain of suffering, and we are quick to recognize its presence in those around us.

In the Old Testament and Gospel readings today we encounter suffering. Both Jeremiah and Jesus raise two crucial points:
1. The pain is real.
2. The suffering is part of their witness.

First, neither Jeremiah nor Jesus deny that suffering is part of their lives. They do not hide from it, repress it, pretend it is not there, or run away out of fear. Their suffering is real; they acknowledge the truth of what they must face and confront it.

Second, the pain they face is part of their ministry. Simply put, they suffer because they have remained faithful to God. Jeremiah burns with the fire of a prophet; to remain silent would destroy him and deny God’s word. Jesus knows that only through his death and resurrection can he fulfill his Father’s will; to run away would deny God’s plan for salvation history.

From the example of Jeremiah and Jesus we discover that our suffering is part of a much larger picture. We know that suffering is an element of life, mixed with the joy and beauty we encounter daily. We know that it will come in difficult and sometimes unexpected ways.

Yet God is present in our suffering. Just as Jeremiah and Jesus knew that God was present with them, so too we can see that the Lord is near, giving us strength and hope. Thus suffering may be a way that we draw closer to God, mindful of our need.

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Note: This blog was originally published on August 26, 2014.


21st Sunday of the Year: Three keys to Heaven. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 21st Sunday of the Year

Entrusting the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter, Jesus establishes the Church upon a rock that hell itself cannot prevail against.  Christ is the key; through prayer, sacraments and virtue we grow in grace through this life so that we can enter into the Lord’s Kingdom in the next.

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Daily Mass: May we practice what we preach. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 20th Week of the Year

The Gospel today makes it clear that what we say has to measure up to what we do.  When our words and actions are in harmony, then we “practice what we preach” so that others will find in us a living witness of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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Daily Mass: Love is the Greatest Commandment. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 20th Week of the Year

Love – the Greatest Commandment – offers us an insight into the depth and breadth of the love that God has for us.  Pause for a moment and reflect on a time when you experienced love in a blessed way.  Now live that love today!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts