Tag Archives: Blessing

6th Sunday of the Year: How does your faith help you face tough challenges? Catholic Inspiration

Living one’s life for the Lord does not mean it will be easy; rather, we face the struggles before us with God’s grace to carry out what must be done.  A blessed life, then, is not about wealth, health, or earthly glory…it’s about being in right relationship with Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


6th Sunday of the Year: Blessings, Curses and Woes

Study:  Consider when you were blessed with strength and guidance in a tough time.  How did you experience this blessing?

Pray:  We all know many people who are having a tough time right now.  Ask the Lord to give them the courage and conviction to carry on.

Serve:  Is there some way you can be a blessing to another?  How might you use your gifts and talents to alleviate suffering today?

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of the Year

Let’s take a quick review of the readings:

  • 1st Reading – Jeremiah speaks of blessings and curses in relationship to the Lord
  • Psalm – “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul preaches about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus offers a series of blessings and woes in Luke’s Gospel

There is a dangerous trap that Christians must always be alert to avoid.  It runs like this:

  1. I follow Christ and carry out his commands.
  2. I strive to live a good and holy life.
  3. Therefore, because I am a “good” person, God will bless me with an easy life.

In other words, since I am doing what God commands, God owes me.  We often find this thinking surfaces when something bad happens – and illness, death, reversal of fortune, pain, or any number of bad scenarios – and suddenly people start blaming God.  “Why is God doing this to me?  I’m a good person!  I don’t deserve this!”

The trap misleads us into thinking that our faith is suppose to protect us from the unfortunate.  If we buy into this concept, then we begin to treat our faith at best as a legal contract and at worst as a magical formula where we have power over God.

Life is hard.  Life makes demands and challenges us with pain, discomfort, struggle and testing.  While we might wish that all days were easy, we know that tough times come along.

And in the face all these obstacles God blesses us with grace, uniting us in our relationship with the Lord and one another.  As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are blessed when our lives are configured to God and cursed when we step away from the Lord.  We can be tempted to trust more in fleeting things like wealth, power, good looks or fame, yet only God offers the enduring strength of love in this life and the next.

The next time something difficult happens, ask this one question: How does my faith in Jesus Christ help me right now?  We are blessed when we experience God’s grace to face life’s obstacles.  We are blessed when we allow the Lord to work through our lives – even when it’s hard.  We are blessed when we receive God’s love with open and gentle hearts.

May God bless us all with exactly what we need to continue on our journey through life today.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Thanksgiving Day

What are you thankful for today?  What gifts do you recognize right now in your life and how do you share them gratefully with others?  How has God’s grace transformed your life?  Now go, and be a blessing in the world!

Mass Readings – Thanksgiving Day

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Catholic Inspiration Archive


Daily Mass: Give to God what belongs to God! Catholic Inspiration

Your life is a gift.  Freely given by God, this treasure is meant to be shared and lived with a passionate conviction.  May gratitude fill our hearts as we offer our lives to the Lord!

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 9th Week of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Blessed are those who hear and observe the Word of God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 27th Week of the Year

Jesus offers a two step process to be blessed.  First, we must hear the Word of God.  Second, we have to act on it!  Here’s the question: do you want to be blessed?

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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

 


25th Sunday of the Year: A generous heart.

Study:  How have I reacted in the past when someone I know has been particularly blessed or fortunate?  Am I supportive or jealous?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace and wisdom to celebrate sincerely with others when they have received special gifts or opportunities.

Serve:  How can you support others in their moments of blessing?  How might you be generous with gratitude for another person’s good fortune?

Mass Readings – 25th Sunday of the Year

Consider the following possible situations and scenarios:

  • Your neighbor that you have known for over twenty years has just won the lottery.
  • A high school classmate that you didn’t talk to very much in school makes it big in Hollywood.
  • A relative gets left a hefty sum of money from your old uncle and goes on a long trip around the world.
  • A kid who used to ride your bus to school is now the executive at the company – and is your boss.
  • A fellow employee in another office gets a big bonus for a successfully completed project.
  • Your best friend has the opportunity to have a special audience with the Pope – through a connection with a friend in the Vatican.

All of these scenes have one thing in common: through an encounter with generosity and/or opportunity another individual benefits and possesses rewards that we do not share.

How do we react? How do our attitudes and actions change toward those who have received unexpected (and sometimes unearned) generosity? While I know that I hope that I would be good natured, polite, friendly, and supportive – a part of me echoes with the sentiments of the workers in today’s Gospel.

There is a sense of justice, a feeling that we should get what we deserve that goes against the grain of the message today. The last workers got the same wage, even though they only worked a fraction of the time. It’s not fair!

In reality, the story went beyond fairness. No worker was cheated. No worker was denied a fair and agreeable wage. The Master simply wanted to be generous out of concern and care for others.

The fact is, God is generous to all of us. There are moments when we have fallen short of the Lord’s justice through sin and temptation. Yet like the workers today, we receive God’s generosity even when we have not earned it. May we live accordingly.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Note: This blog was originally published on September 14, 2014.