Category Archives: Advent

4th Sunday of Advent: We rejoice in the presence of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Elizabeth recognized the presence of the Messiah, and she rejoiced that God had drawn near.  As Christmas approaches, we rejoice in the many ways that God pours grace into our hearts through the power and mercy of Jesus.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Advent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Mary’s song of praise. Catholic Inspiration

It’s called the Magnificat – a song of praise that Mary offers – and it has been a prayer of powerful reflection for the Church for 2000 years.  Recognizing that God is in charge, initiating, leading, empowering and conquering evil, we are united in grace and draw near to the Lord.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of the Year (Dec. 22nd)

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Two pregnant women filled with the Holy Spirit. Catholic Inspiration

Mary and Elizabeth, pregnant with their sons as foretold by the angel Gabriel, are filled with the Holy Spirit as they encounter one another.  The presence of the Spirit gives us an insight into what happens when we cooperate with God’s grace in our lives: the Lord does great things!

Mass Readings – Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent (Dec. 21st)

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

Photo Credit: The Nativity Story, 2006.


Daily Mass: Mary and Gabriel. Catholic Inspiration

While the story of the angel Gabriel and Mary is well known, its familiarity can blind us to the fact that just as God worked through Mary’s life, God works in ours.  The question is, will we use the blessings we have been given for the Lord’s glory?  Will we say yes to Jesus Christ today?

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent (Dec. 20th)

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: A man, a temple and an angel. Catholic Inspiration

Luke’s Gospel sets the context for the birth of John the Baptist – the last and greatest prophet who will proclaim Jesus as the Lamb of God – and shows us how God constantly works through our lives to bring about something new.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Advent (Dec. 19th)

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The example of St. Joseph. Catholic Inspiration

St. Joseph’s reception and response to the angel’s message offers us a fitting example of faith in action as we receive God’s word and respond in love to Jesus Christ!

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent (Dec. 18th)

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


4th Sunday of Advent: Make your choice

Scrooge Tombstone

Study:  Recall a time when you were confronted with a tough decision.  What helped you to make and carry out your choice?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the wisdom and guidance to make daily decisions that are filled with grace.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life facing tough decisions right now?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Advent

A Christmas Carol

Part IV: Scrooge’s Choice

There comes a point in A Christmas Carol where we begin to understand Ebenezer Scrooge.  We’ve seen his past, present, and future – how he’s interacted with people – and we come to crux of the matter: will he make a change?  Will he embrace the warnings and lessons of the Ghosts and chart a new course for his life?

Every person has a story.  Every person has had moments of joy and sadness, success and failure, blessing and burden.  Yet in the course of our lives we have been given the gift of choosing how we will live; the Lord offers us the freedom to accept or reject a life of love.   We, too, have been given opportunities to reflect and decide how we will live.  What do we choose?

In the Gospel today Mary greets her kinswoman Elizabeth, who also recognizes something wonderful has happened.  The baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped from joy – a sign that God was present in a powerful way.  Elizabeth understood that God was working in Mary’s life, and she responded to this insight accordingly.

There comes a moment in our lives when we discover something new.  Perhaps we have seen a mistake in the past or regret an action that we have done; at these times we encounter a reason to hope and start over.  We have a reason to live with joy.

It is this sense of hope which can give us new life.  Emerging from doubt or despair, we rediscover that God walks with and among us – helping us in moments of sadness and leading us to peace.  Yet God requires that we actively accept this invitation.  The promise of hope needs our action, and it relies on our willingness to follow.

Scrooge provides an example for us.  With the help of the Spirits of Christmas, he saw a world filled with very different possibilities.  He discovered that he need not be unhappy; he could change his life and embrace the joys which were all around him.  His willingness to see, judge, and act become an inspiration for us – reminding us that life gives us opportunities to change our ways and follow God’s call.

As Elizabeth recognized God’s presence in Mary, we too are invited to discover the Lord in our midst.  May our eyes be open to see God among us, and may we respond with hearts that are open to the abundant love which is our inheritance.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on December 15, 2014.