Author Archives: Fr. Andrew Ricci

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store.

Daily Mass: God gives us strength to face the dangers of life. Catholic Inspiration

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Jeremiah reminds us that we put our trust in God as we face the dangers of life.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Our hope is in Christ, the Son of God. Catholic Inspiration

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Jesus reveals his divinity in John’s Gospel, and this truth becomes the foundation for our faith and the source of our hope as we configure our lives to Him.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Walking through the fiery furnace with the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

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Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked in the fiery furnace with a fourth person who looked like a Son of God. During those times in our lives when we have been put to the test, may we trust that Christ walks with us as well.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: We see the face of God in Christ crucified. Catholic Inspiration

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To gaze upon the Cross reveals the face of God in Christ crucified for our sake. This symbol of death thus becomes our hope, that the one who takes the place of our sins will lead us to eternal life.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Passion of the Lord

The Face of Christ

Study:  Reflect on a time you experienced weakness and suffering.  Where did you find the strength to continue?

Pray:  Gaze upon a crucifix and offer to Christ any struggles you are facing right now.  Bring the needs of your loved ones to the foot of the Cross as well.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life who is carrying a heavy cross right now?  How can you offer comfort and assistance?

Palm Sunday Readings (with Year A reading for the Procession with Palms)

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; crosses 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 as well:  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 His Son, 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.  Yet the Cross appears to be 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?

In reality, the weakness revealed in the Cross uncovers our frailty, not God’s.  Jesus endured the Cross because of our broken, wounded nature.  He carried the Cross because we were unable to – as St. Paul writes “The wages of sin is death” in Romans 6:23 – and he bore the suffering, pain, and grief that are the natural result of our sinfulness.  God is not weak, rather God takes on our weakness so that we can be made whole.

The Cross proclaims the truth 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, loves us, and saves us through his Cross.

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

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on April 3, 2017.


Daily Mass: Justice and Mercy. Catholic Inspiration

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The Book of Daniel and the Gospel of John offer us examples of Justice and Mercy, crucial concepts that require our careful thought and attention as disciples of the Lord. May we strive for Justice in all our actions as we we recognize our ongoing need for God’s Mercy when we sin.

Mass Readings – Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Monday Conversation: The gift of discipline from COVID-19. Catholic Inspiration

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COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, offering us an opportunity to examine our habits and reflect on what might change for the better. Discipline – the ability to consistently and regularly carry out an appointed task with a high level of performance – is a crucial element that can help us thrive in body, mind, heart and soul.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives