Category Archives: Feasts & Solemnities

Daily Mass: The Conversion of St. Paul. Catholic Inspiration

The conversion of St. Paul reminds us that repentance and change are part of our journey of faith. As Paul moved from persecutor to preacher of the faith, we consider how the Lord calls us to make a change in our hearts.

Mass Readings – The Conversion of St. Paul

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Baptism of the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

The baptism of Jesus recalls the gift of our own baptism and how our lives are now configured to Christ. May we live this great gift as we put our faith into practice.

Mass Readings – The Baptism of the Lord

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Baptism of the Lord

Bautismo_de_Cristo_por_Navarrete_el_Mudo

Study:  Find out about your baptism.  When was it?  Who performed it?  Who are your Godparents?  Who else was present?

Pray:  Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.

Serve:  How can you live your baptismal call today?  How can your faith inspire or assist another?

Mass Readings – The Baptism of the Lord

A few years ago I was having lunch when I ran into Fr. Bob Koszarek, a retired priest from our diocese.  When I asked him what brought him out for lunch he said, “I am celebrating the anniversary of my baptism.”  The comment struck me, especially when he followed it up with, “Do you know the day of your baptism?”

The answer is no.  Yet as I prepare for Mass this week I have made a commitment to find out.  We claim (rightly so) that baptism is a crucial sacrament in the Church – the gateway to all other sacraments whereby we are configured to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Most people know if they have been baptized; my sense is that very few know the actual date.

Our faith is a precious gift – worth fighting for, worth dying for.  Perhaps today we pause to recall just how precious it truly is…Jesus Christ poured out his blood on the Cross for us that we might have eternal life.  His baptism was the revelation of the Trinity, where we hear the Father’s voice from heaven as the Spirit descends upon the Son in the form of a dove.  Our baptism allows us to participate fully in God’s presence for the grace and guidance we need.

I invite us today to claim our baptism.  Some simple steps:

  • Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know Jesus and live as a Christian disciple
  • Embrace your faith through study and prayer
  • Serve others in the name of Jesus Christ (and with his help and strength)
  • Allow your life to bring Good News to the World

Our baptism is not a one time event.  Rather, it is an ongoing expression of Christ working through us.  May the Baptism of the Lord inspire us to live our faith with joy as we engage our lives with his power.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Bautismo de Cristo, Juan Fernandez Nararrete; circa 1567, The Prado, Madrid, Spain.

Note: This post was first published on January 4, 2016.


Mary, the Mother of God. Catholic Inspiration

As we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, we acknowledge that she is also our Mother. Given to us by Christ, we claim this relationship every time we affirm our faith in her Son.

Mass Readings – Mary, the Mother of God

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

Note: I took this picture of the icon of Mary and Jesus in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during my pilgrimage to the Holy Land last month.


The Epiphany of the Lord

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Study: Reflect on a time when you clearly experienced God’s presence in your life.  How were you guided?

Pray:  Is there a challenging task confronting you today?  Ask the Lord for the Light to find your way.

Serve:  How can you be a Light for others?  How can your life help others to see clearly?

Mass Readings- The Epiphany of the Lord

The Magi were guided by a star to Jerusalem.  They were led by its light, and along the way inquired among the people where they might find the king and were thus directed to Bethlehem.  I am struck by the two complementary components that were necessary for their journey:  Light & Sight.

  • Light: the star that blazed in the sky for all to see
  • Sight: the effort of the Magi to use the Light to find their way.

Without light, sight is impossible.  Without sight, the light is wasted.  Many people saw the light of the star, but the Magi acted on it – seeking through a long journey to find the King of Kings.

God’s light continues to shine in our world today.  Do we open our eyes and see with the gift of faith the wonders that the Lord sets before us?  Make no mistake: we believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, the Scriptures, and our fellowship “where two or three are gathered” in his name.

We are invited to follow the example of the Magi and seek the Lord in our lives – using our senses and resources to respond to the blessings we have have received.  May we use our Sight to follow the Light!

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on December 29, 2015.


The Holy Family: An example for us all. Catholic Inspiration

The blessings and burdens of the Holy Family inspire us to face our joys and sorrows with the grace of Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Holy Family of Jesus Mary and Joseph

Holy Family - 3

Study:  Recall a time when you were particular grateful for the gift of your family.  What made the difference?

Pray:  Reflect on the needs of your family.  Thank the Lord for your blessings and offer your petitions for their needs.

Serve:  How can you help someone in your family right now?

Mass Readings – The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Big or small, far-flung or close to home…we all come from a family.  Sometimes our families are in better/worse places, depending on emotions, finances, relationships, illness, death, and a multitude of challenges and blessings that life can throw our way.

And while no family is perfect, every family provides opportunities for us to grow.  Whether it is getting along, practicing forgiveness, being patient, working together, or dealing with the idiosyncrasies that are part of every human group…there is no place like family for teaching us lessons that are part of our journey to become the best version of ourselves.

The Holy Family faced plenty of blessings and burdens.  Here are a few of the blessings:

  • Encounters with the angel Gabriel
  • Choirs of angels singing and rejoicing
  • Visits from distant Magi and nearby shepherds
  • The brilliant light of the Star as a sign from God

But, then, there are some real burdens:

  • Explaining Mary’s pregnancy (before marriage to Joseph)
  • Fleeing for their lives from King Herod’s soldiers
  • Refugees in Egypt – far from family
  • And one day…Mary will stand before the Cross of Jesus

Clearly, this family is unlike any other; yet together they faced situations that are similar to many even today.  They knew what it was like to be grateful for what they had, and they knew what it was like to face suffering and pain.

But there’s two points I want us to hold close:

  1. They did it together
  2. God was with them

What’s true for the Holy Family is true for our families!  We have opportunities to work together, cooperating and uniting to strengthen the bonds within our families – and when we face challenges we call upon the Lord to give us the grace and strength we need to put faith into family, hope into our homes, and love into our lives.

May this season give us plenty of opportunities to work together with God’s grace in our families – the place where we have been located by the Lord to practice our “homework for holiness” as we journey through this life.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on December 25, 2014.