Category Archives: Feasts & Solemnities

The Baptism of the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

The Baptism of the Lord inspires us to claim the gift of our own baptism as we follow Christ and live the gift of life infused with faith.

Mass Readings – Baptism of the Lord

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Baptism of the Lord

My photo at the Jordan River while on pilgrimage in the Holy Land in 2019.

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


Epiphany: Shine with the Light of Christ! Catholic Inspiration

The Magi followed the light of the star to encounter the Light of the World as they responded with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. As we are drawn to the Light of Christ and encounter His grace, may we shine with His light for all to see!

Mass Readings – Epiphany of the Lord

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Mary, Mother of God. Catholic Inspiration

This is a copy of the Pieta by Michelangelo in the Vatican Museum. (My photo)

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Mary inspires us to follow her example as we reflect on all that has happened in the last year and study these insights in the light of our faith in Christ as we embark on the New Year. Holy Mary, Mother of God…pray for us!

Mass Readings – Mary, Mother of God

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Holy Innocents. Catholic Inspiration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the midst of the Christmas season we see the harsh consequences of human sin. The massacre of the innocent children demands that we carry out the teaching of Christ as we strive to protect those who are most vulnerable.

Mass Readings – Feast of the Holy Innocents

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Epiphany: God’s light shines upon us!

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Photo by timelockz on Pexels.com

Study:  Recall a time when you experienced a moment of clarity and understanding – when it all came together.

Pray:  Ask the Lord for direction and insight regarding any particular decisions or needs.

Serve:  How can you help someone clarify their focus and gain direction?

Mass Readings – The Epiphany of the Lord

I was sitting in a Calculus class, and my blood was beginning to boil. For over an hour I had been trying to understand a concept without any success. The professor had patiently explained it twice (using two different examples), two friends tried (telling me how EASY it was – like that helped…), and I had read the “helpful hints” section of the textbook (which I still do not understand to this day).

I looked down on the page of equations, a seemingly meaningless series of numbers, letters, and signs, and put my head in my hands and took a deep breath. I then turned to look out the window and daydreamed for a couple of minutes. (I think the professor was just glad I was quiet…!) Then I looked back at the textbook.

It made sense.

I could not believe it. I finally understood in a span of three heartbeats what three different people had been trying to tell me for over an hour. The light bulb went on, and I said “OH!!!” just a little louder then I realized.

The professor, a gentle man with a deep faith, came over to me with a big smile. He said, “Do you get it?” When I told him how it came together he said, “Good for you, Andrew! You just had an epiphany.”

There are times in life when an event or experience comes upon us in a rush. We are caught up in the moment, held in awe by our new awareness. We discover a new insight, understanding, or perspective which shapes and changes how we see the world.

In the Scriptures today we follow the journey of the wise men, guided by a star to the baby Jesus. As the star rose they pursued its course, searching for understanding and wisdom. When they found the child their response reveals the magnitude of their convictions. They knelt in homage, giving the very best gifts they had to offer.

As we journey on in our lives God places before us opportunities and events where the Lord is especially present. In these great and precious moments our eyes are opened – if only briefly – to the grace and blessings around us. We can ask the Lord for this gift of understanding – a gift which recognizes and responds to God’s presence in our midst.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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The blog was originally published on January 1, 2015.


The Holy Family: Reminding us how God is present at all times. Catholic Inspiration

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The Holy Family reveals how God is present within our families at all times in life – good and bad – and supports us with grace and strength. Holy Family, pray for us!

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

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Holy Family

My photo from Chiesa Nuova in Rome

Study:  What is going on in my family right now?  What dynamics, concerns, and strengths are we facing?

Pray:  Call upon God’s grace for your family.  Be specific and practical!

Serve:  How can we help bless our families right now?  What can we do to strengthen and unite together as a holy family?

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

During this holiday season I am amazed – even with all the challenges of COVID-19 – at how many people creatively reorganize their schedules and events to accommodate the many family events that happen during this time of the year.  Many people spend long hours on the road, sometimes celebrating Christmas two or three times with different branches of the family tree.

For some people this time of year can be a mixed blessing.  The stress of traveling with uncertain weather, compounded with the hectic expectations of the commercial side of the season, can sometimes lead us to view Christmas as an exercise in frustration.  This frustration is particularly true when we add the unique issues that are part of our own family.

All of us are part of a family.  Some big, others small, some scattered across the globe, others spaced along a couple of city streets.  In our extended families there are people we can’t wait to see, and there may even be some who are difficult to get along with for a conversation.  Within our families there is usually a mixture of joy and sorrow, peace and discomfort, calm and chaos.

Yet like it or not, God has planted us within these groups of people to help us find our place within the larger world.  Our families help define who we are, how we experience life, and what our dreams and hopes are for the future.  With all their strengths and weaknesses, our families help us understand the meaning and purpose of our lives.

The fact that we celebrate the family of Jesus helps us realize that God is present within our families, too.  The “Holy Family” was not perfect.  Hardship and persecution followed them before and after the birth of the baby Jesus.  They struggled and suffered like every other family, celebrating the joys and sorrows that accompany us all through life.

The struggles of the Holy Family help us see that the journey of our own families is not an easy one.  Yet we can take hope that just as God was present to them, so too will the Lord strengthen us.

The feast of the Holy Family can remind us all that God truly walks with us in our own families.  Within the blessings and limitations that exist in our families, we recognize God’s loving touch – shaping our lives and helping us see the “Holy Ones” that God has placed in our midst.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This post was modified from one that was published on December 25, 2017.


The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Do not be afraid! Catholic Inspiration

The statue of Our Lady of Peace is found in the Lateran Basilica in Rome; the photo is mine.

On this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we take to heart the words of the angel Gabriel as we cast out fear and follow Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholic Inspiration

God makes possible miracles that astound our imagination in multiple ways in the readings we hear today. May we take to heart the angel Gabriel’s insight that “nothing will be impossible for God!”

Mass Readings – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Catholic Inspiration Archives