Category Archives: Feasts & Solemnities

The Ascension of the Lord

Photo by Gareth Davies on Pexels.com

The feast of the Ascension teaches us key spiritual insights about ourselves and the Lord. May this day inspire us to embrace our faith – strengthened by Christ – as we face our own challenges and grow in God’s grace.

Mass Readings – The Ascension of the Lord

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

Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Ascension of the Lord

Photo by Steven Hylands on Pexels.com

Study:  Transitions are a time of uncertainty.  Consider a time when you experienced a transition: how did it feel?  How did you face it?

Pray:  When faced with the unknown we come to the Lord for direction.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will send both wisdom (to know what to do), and strength (so you can do it).

Serve:  Who in your life is alone right now.  How might you walk with another in a time of transition and uncertainty?

Mass Readings – The Ascension of the Lord

There are moments in life when it is difficult to say good-bye.  Whether it is a relocation through work, the completion of school, or the death of a loved one, we know that these events challenge us to move on with the transitions in life.

The Feast of the Ascension marks one of these transitions in the Church.  This feast demands that we ask the question, “Now what?” as the Lord is taken from our midst.  The disciples must now discover the new ways that God is at work in their lives – especially now that Jesus is no longer with them.

But unlike other transitions, where people pass out of our lives and are separated from us by physical distances or death, Jesus leaves his disciples in a different way.  By ascending into heaven he does not move out of our lives, but rather he comes into contact with all life.  Through his ascension the Holy Spirit comes upon all people, and Jesus touches our lives in a new and mysterious way.

The mystery of the Ascension is closely connected to the Resurrection of Jesus.  The early Church recognized that the saving work which God did through Jesus included both of these events.  We say in the Creed, “…he rose from the dead…(and) ascended into heaven…” in the same breath – for these two events show that the Lord’s work is unlike anything else ever done before.

Through his Resurrection, death and sin no longer have power over Jesus Christ; his sacrifice on the Cross offers hope for the whole world.  Through his Ascension, all people can know Jesus and the Spirit; taken up to heaven, the Lord is now present to all people regardless of time or space.

This feast reminds us that Christ does not abandon his people.  The Lord is near, and we enjoy his presence even though we cannot touch him as the disciples did.  We know that God walks with us, and we trust that the Lord will give us the strength to carry out the mission of the gospel through the transitions we face in this life.

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

Catholic Inspiration Archives

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

This blog was originally published on May 5, 2013.


Easter Day

Once we recognize and affirm the resurrection of the Lord, everything changes: Faith, Hope and Love ignite as our hearts are transformed with God’s saving power. May the joy of this day inspire us to live our lives for Risen Savior!

Mass Readings – Easter Day

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

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Easter Vigil

The Light of Christ shines in the darkness and dispels the power of sin and death. This holy night celebrates our redemption with the power of God’s boundless love. Rejoice! The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Mass Readings – Easter Vigil

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

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Good Friday

In the Cross of Christ we see the sign of the Greatest Love Story every told. May the love of God touch the hardness of our hearts as we gaze upon the Savior, who gave his life for our sins on the Cross.

Readings – Good Friday

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

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Holy Thursday

On Holy Thursday we claim the precious treasure of Holy Communion whereby we receive the Lord – body and blood, soul and divinity – for the strength we need to carry out our tasks of service here on earth.

Mass Readings – Holy Thursday

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

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!

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

Catholic Inspiration Archives

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

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