Monthly Archives: February 2019

7th Sunday of the Year: Love your enemies

Study:  Reflect on a time when you experienced mercy.  How did it feel to be forgiven and treated with kindness?

Pray:  Is there someone in your life who is difficult to love?  Pray for the wisdom and insight to act like Jesus.

Serve:  How can you bring help to a difficult and painful situation right now?

Mass Readings – 7th Sunday of the Year

Here’s a quick overview of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – David preserves Saul’s life
  • Psalm – “The Lord is kind and merciful.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul offers a comparison between Adam and Jesus
  • Gospel – Love your enemies

The phrase “love your enemies” sounds great…until you have to do it.  When we have been wounded, mocked, ridiculed or wounded by another it is natural to cry out for justice.  Furthermore, there is something within us that longs to get even – to lash out and get back at another – even to the point of inflicting pain or getting revenge.

Clearly the Lord teaches us to go in a different direction with his exhortation to love.  After all, we are commanded to:

  • do good to those who hate us
  • bless those who curse us
  • pray for those who mistreat us
  • turn the other cheek
  • give without thought of repayment
  • stop judging and condemning
  • forgive

Now let’s be clear.  This is hard!  If our natural inclination is to strike out when we’ve been hurt, how do we find the strength to put the teaching of Jesus into practice?

The answer lies in Christ himself.  As we grow closer to the Lord we find that we receive the grace we need to love as he loves us.  For remember, when we hate, curse, mistreat, judge or condemn the Lord still loves us, forgives us, and invites us to come back into the light of his love.

If God is willing to do that for us, then my friends, today we pray for the grace to love others according to his example.

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


6th Sunday of the Year: How does your faith help you face tough challenges? Catholic Inspiration

Living one’s life for the Lord does not mean it will be easy; rather, we face the struggles before us with God’s grace to carry out what must be done.  A blessed life, then, is not about wealth, health, or earthly glory…it’s about being in right relationship with Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of the Year

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The natural consequences of sin. Catholic Inspiration

In the first reading we hear about the repercussions of the sin of Adam and Eve, reminding us that while we live with the hope of forgiveness and mercy, we must also acknowledge the sober reality of the consequences of our actions.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 5th Week of the Year

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Temptation, Sin and Forgiveness. Catholic Inspiration

The temptation and sin of Adam and Eve highlights the reality of evil in our lives.  Yet as we embrace the hope that we have in Jesus we acknowledge our need for God’s mercy and return to the Lord.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 5th Week of the Year

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The beauty of creation. Catholic Inspiration

The creation of Eve reveals the beauty and goodness of God’s work, reminding us of our opportunity to take the good things we have received from God and offer them in service to one another.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 5th Week of the Year

*************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


School Mass: Putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus acknowledges the faith of the Roman soldier, inspiring us at every Mass to echo his words of faith and trust in the Lord.

***************
Catholic Inspiration Archives

***************

Photo credit: The Passion of the Christ, 2004.


Daily Mass: Creative work and prayerful rest. Catholic Inspiration

The story of creation includes both the dynamic force of work and the renewing power of rest.  We, too, require a balance of both, for when we invite the Lord into our labor and our relaxation we find that they are truly blessed.

Mass Readings Tuesday of the 5th Week of the Year

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


6th Sunday of the Year: Blessings, Curses and Woes

Study:  Consider when you were blessed with strength and guidance in a tough time.  How did you experience this blessing?

Pray:  We all know many people who are having a tough time right now.  Ask the Lord to give them the courage and conviction to carry on.

Serve:  Is there some way you can be a blessing to another?  How might you use your gifts and talents to alleviate suffering today?

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of the Year

Let’s take a quick review of the readings:

  • 1st Reading – Jeremiah speaks of blessings and curses in relationship to the Lord
  • Psalm – “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul preaches about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus offers a series of blessings and woes in Luke’s Gospel

There is a dangerous trap that Christians must always be alert to avoid.  It runs like this:

  1. I follow Christ and carry out his commands.
  2. I strive to live a good and holy life.
  3. Therefore, because I am a “good” person, God will bless me with an easy life.

In other words, since I am doing what God commands, God owes me.  We often find this thinking surfaces when something bad happens – and illness, death, reversal of fortune, pain, or any number of bad scenarios – and suddenly people start blaming God.  “Why is God doing this to me?  I’m a good person!  I don’t deserve this!”

The trap misleads us into thinking that our faith is suppose to protect us from the unfortunate.  If we buy into this concept, then we begin to treat our faith at best as a legal contract and at worst as a magical formula where we have power over God.

Life is hard.  Life makes demands and challenges us with pain, discomfort, struggle and testing.  While we might wish that all days were easy, we know that tough times come along.

And in the face all these obstacles God blesses us with grace, uniting us in our relationship with the Lord and one another.  As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are blessed when our lives are configured to God and cursed when we step away from the Lord.  We can be tempted to trust more in fleeting things like wealth, power, good looks or fame, yet only God offers the enduring strength of love in this life and the next.

The next time something difficult happens, ask this one question: How does my faith in Jesus Christ help me right now?  We are blessed when we experience God’s grace to face life’s obstacles.  We are blessed when we allow the Lord to work through our lives – even when it’s hard.  We are blessed when we receive God’s love with open and gentle hearts.

May God bless us all with exactly what we need to continue on our journey through life today.

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


5th Sunday of the Year: Our response to God’s invitation. Catholic Inspiration

Both Isaiah and St. Peter initially express doubt and fear in the presence of God’s invitation.  Yet like them we are called to move beyond our self-imposed obstacles and accept the Lord’s prompting in our lives…even when it’s hard.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of the Year

**************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Find the balance in work and rest. Catholic Inspiration

The Gospel today shows the disciples both at work and at rest with Jesus.  Finding balance in our lives can be challenging, yet when we take the long view we recognize that there are many different elements that enrich God’s gift of life.

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

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


%d bloggers like this: