Tag Archives: Authority

Daily Mass: The Lord sends you! Catholic Inspiration

Just as Jesus sends the Twelve Apostles with his authority, so also the Lord sends us – empowered with his grace – to continue his mission in the world.  We do it together; we trust in God; we are attentive to each opportunity; we let Christ work through us!

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 4th Week of the Year

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4th Sunday of the Year: Power and Authority in human life. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus speaks with power and authority in the Gospel today, revealing that these gifts come from God and require us to use them wisely and well.  May we both receive from the Lord what we need and then share our blessings with others to the best of our ability.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

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4th Sunday of the Year: Our use of Power and Authority

Study:  Consider a time in life when you used power and authority well.  What helped and guided you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the wisdom and courage to live your life in accordance with God’s commands.

Serve:  How can you make a difference with your life today?  What is in your reach to do that makes an immediate difference?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

In great and small ways, we all exercise power and authority.  Some people make daily decisions that shape the lives of nations; others rule kingdoms no bigger than the back garden.  Yet regardless of size and shape, the fact remains that power and authority are part of human life.

Having these two dynamic attributes, however, are no guarantee that they will be used wisely and well.  History is filled with both good and bad examples where power and authority have been used – for great good and great harm.

Like all gifts, power and authority find their origin in the Lord.  God is the source of all life, and every blessing, every ability, derives its strength from the throne of Heaven.  Both the first reading and the Gospel today acknowledge this truth: Moses proclaims that God will raise up a future prophet for the people; Jesus teaches with authority and casts out demons.  As Christ fulfills the promise of Moses, the Lord extends his power to conquer sin and death that we might have hope in this world as we look to the world to come.

In light of these readings two thoughts emerge for consideration:

  • Do I acknowledge God’s power and authority in my life?
  • Do I use the power and authority I have for God’s glory?

Think about it.  We often know what we should do…the question is, do we do it?!  The Lord’s commands (forgiveness, prayer, service to the poor, justice, etc.) are not nice things to think about in our spare time.  They are dictates from on high that are meant to enliven us and fill us with grace, peace, and joy.  The problem of course is that our own ego can get in the way and redirect our energy away from God.  In these moments, we search our conscience (Remember the Examination of Conscience last week?) and return to the Lord.

And while we are examining our hearts, we have the opportunity to put into practice the power and authority we have in a 1001 ways.  Consider:

  • Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Colleagues, Classmates
  • Strangers, Enemies, Chance Visitors
  • The Environment, The Legal System, Local Government
  • Any place where our lives touch another…

Since all power comes from God and flows through us, it might be helpful to recall that one day we are going to stand before Jesus Christ.  With loving eyes he will look into our souls and ask what we did with the gift of life we were given.  It’s not the mistakes we made that will be hardest to bear, but the opportunities we missed to good with what we had.  Perhaps today we might reflect on the Lord’s commands for our lives, and reconsider how we might put them into practice with the power we possess.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This post was first published on January 25, 2015.


31st Sunday of the Year: Lessons in listening.

Study:  Name someone who was a good mentor to you, someone you trusted and listened to.  What did they say that spoke to your heart?

Pray:  What lessons is the Lord putting in your life today?  Pray for the grace to hear what God offers.

Serve:  Do you know someone who is dealing with a tough situation?  How can you help them listen and act with the gift of God’s grace?

Mass Readings – 31st Sunday of the Year

Let’s begin with an overview of the readings,

  • 1st Reading – Listen to God, or suffer a curse!
  • Psalm – “In you, Lord, I have found my peace.”
  • 2nd Reading – The word of God we hear is at work within our hearts.
  • Gospel – Listen to those in authority, but watch out for what they do.

How do we learn?  How do we integrate life long lessons and grow?  The process generally works in two steps.  First, we listen – absorbing new information and teasing out ideas, concepts, distinctions, and insights.  Second, we apply our learning through action as we internalize the information and use it in our daily experiences.

In the first reading the prophet Malachi speaks bluntly: we are called to hear God’s word, take it to heart and apply it to our lives.  This is particularly pressing for the priests to whom these words are directed.  They are the examples and teachers of the people.

The Psalmist helps us keep our focus.  In the midst of the distractions and frenzy that can surface in our lives we turn to the Lord as the source of inner peace.  When our soul is longing for calm, serenity and gentleness we turn once again to Jesus Christ.

St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians that they received the word of God, and this hearing occurred through the gentle and loving example of others.  Now it is their turn to pass on the gift of faith through the example of their lives.

Finally, Jesus distinguishes between the teaching and example of the scribes and Pharisees.  The people are called to listen closely to what they say, but be very guarded in following their example.  The point: the lessons we take to heart must be rooted in the Lord.

So today…what’s the message that God offers you?  What do you need to hear?  Through prayer, Scriptures, sacraments, fellowship and daily life we continue to encounter life-long lessons in faith.  Our invitation is to listen, and then put it into practice.

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29th Sunday of the Year: Heaven & Earth.

Study:  Name a role model who lives a principled life.  What is it that they say or do that inspires you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the strength to make the right choice, especially over a difficult or challenging situation.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life who looks to you for guidance and example?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 29th Sunday of the Year

The first reading, psalm, and gospel readings today touch upon the notions of earthly and heavenly governance. Part of our human condition requires that we recognize our need for others; by working with people we unite in strength, and by serving the Lord we understand our values and priorities in life.

Let’s start first with human governance. In the first reading from Isaiah we hear how God has anointed Cyrus – the pagan king – as the instrument for Israel’s redemption. While the king does not know the Law or the Prophets, he gives the people of Israel a new opportunity by conquering their enemy, Babylon.

This distinction between the pagan King and the people’s faith is a helpful guide for us today. While Christianity has made countless contributions to Western Civilization, we find ourselves living in a culture that has many non-Christian influences. Some are good, some neutral, and others are just plain bad. Yet Isaiah teaches us today to look for what is good and useful, recognizing that God can work through a variety of instruments.

Since we live in this world filled with all these different elements, we are constantly challenged to discern and choose those options which are good, holy, and true. It is not always easy! Indeed, we can find ourselves confronted by issues that push and stretch us in a variety of ways.

So how do we decide? The gospel today offers a gem from the Lord:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
And to God what belongs to God.”
Matthew 22:21

We have duties and obligations as members of both heaven and earth. In the world we have our responsibilities – voting and jury duty, abiding civil laws, serving in local organizations, and actively living as good citizens. And as a people of faith, we are bound to follow the teaching and commandments of Jesus Christ.

So what do we do in a conflict? In the end we remember that all creation is the Lord’s. When pushed to extreme, we follow Christ. God made this world, and one day we will be called out of it. May our example show to others our desire to be good citizens – both on earth, and in heaven.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This blog was originally published on October 13, 2014. 


Daily Mass: Christ empowers us! Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 26th Week of the Year (Our Lady of the Rosary)

The 72 disciples return to Jesus, rejoicing at how their lives – empowered by Christ – have made a difference.  Their “yes” to the Lord inspires us to do the same, offering our lives so that Christ can work through us in the world today.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Trust God…and get to work. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 25th Week of the Year (St. Vincent de Paul)

Jesus gives his Apostles power and authority, and then he invites them to trust in God alone.  It’s a good reminder for us to claim the blessings that we’ve been given as we put the Lord first in our lives.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts