Monthly Archives: April 2018

6th Sunday of Easter: Love, the Great Commandment


Study:  When in my life have I been most authentically and genuinely loving toward others?  What helped me to live this way?

Pray:  Who is difficult to love in my life right now?  Pray that the love of Christ comes into our hearts to transform us into God’s love.

Serve:  Who am I called to love today?  How can I act toward another that brings Christ’s love into their lives?

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of Easter

The second reading from 1 John 4:7-10 and the Gospel from John 15:9-17 are as blunt and direct as the Bible delivers.  In the first and last analysis, everything we proclaim as Christians is measured and evaluated in the light of a single concept:


And on first glance it sounds wonderful!  Love evokes many wholesome and beautiful concepts that speak to our hearts; love lifts our spirits and draws us closer together – drawing strength and peace from both God and the people around us.

Yet love is also challenging.  Love makes demands upon us to stretch beyond our normal comfort zones – thinking and acting in ways that are modeled on Jesus Christ.  Consider…

  • Forgiving our enemies
  • Seeking the good in others
  • Being the first to work at healing & reconciliation
  • Dedicated to others in times of difficulty and stress
  • Remaining positive and supportive
  • Standing up for those who are oppressed
  • Serving those who are hard to love…and seeing Christ in them

While we strive for these practical applications of love on our good days, Lord knows we need to keep working at love – especially when we are in a bad place.  Two keys thoughts can help us:

  1. Stay close to Jesus – the source of all LOVE
  2. When in doubt – act in a loving manner

The first point is simple: we cannot fulfill God’s command to love unless we are closely connected to the Son of God.  We hear that “God is love” in the 2nd reading, and we know that our lives draw grace and strength when we unite our hearts to the Lord.  Staying close to Jesus helps us to evaluate and fulfill this key commandment.

The second point is immensely practical.  Sometimes we don’t feel particularly loving!  When that happens we can move ourselves to a better place by acting in a Godly fashion…the feelings will follow eventually.  While our emotions are crucial sources of “inside information” to the state of our hearts, we guide our lives by Jesus (and not a momentary feeling) who loves us unconditionally.  Thus, when we act in a loving way – love actually grows in our hearts!

“This I command you: love one another.”


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, Heinrich Hofmann; 1 June 1889, 480 x 599 pixels, Riverside Church, New York, NY.

5th Sunday of Easter: Christ is the vine that sustains us in times of struggle. Catholic Inspiration

The accident at the oil refinery in Superior last week was a stark reminder how we rely on and support one another in times of danger.  Where do we find the strength to work together?  United in our faith in Jesus Christ we are nourished with God’s grace so that we can offer our lives for one another.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Seeing, Believing and Doing. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus helps the disciples understand that to see him is to see the Father, and to believe in him leads to doing great works in his name.  But note this: these words are meant for us as well!  As we see God at work in our lives, may our belief flourish as we do the work that is before us for the glory and honor of Christ.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 4th Week of the Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Have faith in God. Catholic Inspiration

Trusting in God is one of those phrases that comes quick to the tongue but can be hard to say when confronted with disaster.  Yet this is exactly why Jesus came!  In the struggles and challenges of this world we look to the one who is the way, the truth and the life – so that we can face what comes before us as we make our way to Heaven.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 4th Week of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Passing on the faith. Catholic Inspiration

Who taught you about Jesus?  Who strengthened and fostered your faith?  This gift we have been received is not just for our own use…it must be passed on.  Which begs the obvious question: Who has God placed in your life today, and how can you share your faith?

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 4th Week of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel. Catholic Inspiration

On this feast of St. Mark we hear the command of the Risen Lord to the Eleven: they are to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel.  May these words inspire us today to share our faith with the people God has placed in our lives.

Mass Readings – Feast of St. Mark, evangelist


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Christ gives us eternal life. Catholic Inspiration

The Lord gives us eternal life, and as we focus on Heaven we have the opportunity to live for the Lord here on earth.  We are pilgrims passing through this world, and all that we say and do is guided by the simple fact that this life is homework to prepare us for the life to come.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

5th Sunday of Easter: The Vine and the Branches

vine & branches

Study:  Recall a time in life when you were disconnected from God.  What helped you restore your relationship with Christ?

Pray:  How can you grow closer to the Lord today?  What spiritual resources, sacraments, or fellowship can help you thrive?

Serve:  Who in your life is disconnected right now?  How can you reach out and help them?

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Easter

The relationship between vine an branches is simple: the branches, connected to the vine, draw their strength and nourishment from it.  Cut off, they die.

Raising grapes and making wine were crucial at the time of Jesus (and still important today) and this gardening image provides a powerful insight in two crucial aspects of human life.

  • Drawing our strength from Christ
  • Providing strength to others

As branches connected to Christ, we draw the grace we need from the Lord.  It’s his death and resurrection that gives us life; his forgiveness that restores our relationships with God and one another; and his power that we call upon when we confront the obstacles and stumbling blocks in the world.  Our lives, dependent on Christ, thrive with his life within us – in the Scriptures, the Sacraments, private prayer, and fellowship with one another.

Yet we also serve as sources of support for others, and the strength of our relationship with God directs our ability to recognize and respond to others.  We cannot give what we don’t have, and as we support one another we pass on the grace we receive from Christ and share it with those we meet.  Who are these key people who look to us?  Some examples:

  • parents and children
  • extended family
  • coworkers
  • employees
  • classmates
  • teammates
  • neighbors
  • friends

Our lives are interconnected!  Drawing strength from Christ – the central vine – we thrive; his strength in turn becomes the power which we extend into the hearts of those whose lives touch our own.

Today: draw near to Jesus and allow his love to fill our hearts!  May we pour his love into the lives of each and every soul we meet!


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Note: This post was originally published on May 3, 2015.

4th Sunday of Easter: The example of the Good Shepherd. Catholic Inspiration

The Good Shepherd offers his life for the care and protection of the sheep.  The Lord’s example inspires us: God calls us – in spite of our imperfections and weaknesses – to care and protect those entrusted to us.  May we call upon the Shepherd for what we need as we continue his service in the world.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Christ has the words of eternal life. Catholic Inspiration

The crowds find the teaching of Jesus too hard, and many who followed him now leave and go back to their former ways.  Rejection does not stop us from proclaiming the Good News; rather, it reminds us that people have the freedom to choose their path.  May we keep inviting them to follow the Lord!

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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