Category Archives: Lent

Daily Mass: Facing the Cross. Catholic Inspiration

 

Mass Readings – Wednesday of Holy Week

The Lord – who knows that the agony of the Cross is coming – tells his disciples that one of them will betray him.  As we now prepare to embark into the Sacred Triduum of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, may we acknowledge our sins and receive the mercy of the Lord.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


Daily Mass: Betrayal and Denial. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of Holy Week

The situation is intense at the Last Supper as Judas prepares to betray Jesus, and Peter’s boast is met with the foreshadowing that he will deny Christ three times.  As we prepare for the Sacred Triduum we pause to reflect on the moments when we have betrayed or denied the Lord, asking God for mercy when we have sinned.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Photo credit: The Passion of the Christ, 2004.


Holy Week Preparations

Holy Week

Pastoral Note: This post was originally given on April 12, 2014.  I share it once again in the hope that all of us will enter more fully into the gift of this sacred time.  Fr. Andrew

Study:  Recall a time in your life when you experienced death and new life.  Where did you find the strength?  Who helped you through this time?

Pray:  Spend some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus this week.  Read Mark 14-16; Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; and John 18-21.  Take in as many prayer opportunities as possible in your parish.

Serve:  Who in your life is dealing with life and death issues right now?  How might you be present to them to offer help, comfort, or strength?

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We enter into the heart of the Christian mystery: Holy Week offers us a time to pause, reflect, and pray as the Church ponders on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This mystery, often called the Paschal Mystery, recalls us to the saving work of the Lord.  His death frees of from the burdens of sin and death, and his resurrection opens for us the path to eternal life.  This mystery is profoundly experienced over the Triduum – the 3 Great Days:

  • Holy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday – the Passion of the Christ
  • Easter (Vigil/Day) – the Resurrection of the Lord

On Holy Thursday we find ourselves in Jerusalem, eating with the disciples at the Lord’s Supper and feeling awkward as he washes their feet – wondering how we would react if he did that for us.  We might identify with Peter or Judas – especially when we consider the times we have willingly betrayed or turned our back on the Lord.

On Good Friday we experience the physical pain, emotional abandonment, and personal humiliation on the path to Calvary (also called Golgotha or Skull Place) and look on with horror at the cruel death of Jesus.  We might also consider the times we have helped others – as Simon did when he was forced to carry the Cross of Christ.    And then we stand in profound sorrow with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, helpless as the innocent suffer injustice.

On Easter we wait in vigil and rise early in the morning with Mary Magdalen, only to find to our wonder and joy that the tomb is empty:  Christ is alive!  Our world, like that of the apostles, is changed forever as we experience new hope and life.

A word to the wise – we get out of Holy Week what we put into it.  Here are some simple ways for an incredible experience.

  • Make church services a top priority – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Vigil or Day).
  • Take time to read and reflect on the scriptures (see at the top under “Pray”).
  • Make Holy Thursday an opportunity to offer a special act of service or kindness to another.
  • Make Good Friday fasting extra special with a gift to a particular charity that helps the poor.
  • Make Easter a time of gratitude – take a quiet moment to count our blessings and thank the Lord.
  • Find some time throughout this week to tell the people in our lives how much we love them.

May this be a time for all of us to grow closer to the Lord and one another.

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Palm Sunday: an offering to God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Palm Sunday

Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross reveals the value God places on human life and inspires us to share our lives as an offering back to God.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Religion & Politics. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

In the Gospel today the stage is set for the drama of the Lord’s Passion.  The Sanhedrin is convened to figure out what to do about Jesus as his followers increase.  The issue: if the crowds become a mob the Romans will come and take away their land and their nation.  It’s a perfect storm of religion and politics, and at the center is one who is innocent: the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Jesus, the Son of God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

When Jesus says “the Father is in me, and I am in the Father” he reveals his divinity…and invites us to grow in the invitation to accept his saving death and resurrection offered out of love.  May we take his hand and follow Him!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Abraham’s faith fulfilled in Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent

God’s promise to Abraham is transformed and renewed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As we look to our challenges and trials today, may we build upon the foundation of faith that we have received and offer our lives in service to the Lord.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts