Tag Archives: Challenge

4th Sunday of the Year: We confront the tension of life with the love of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Like Jeremiah and Jesus, we experience times in life that are filled with tension and difficulty.  Yet following the example of St. Paul, we face these challenging moments with God’s grace as we embrace and live the love of Christ each and every day.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


4th Sunday of the Year: When the going gets tough…keep going!

when the going gets tough

Study:  Recall a time when you had to speak up in a difficult situation.  How did you face it?  What gave you strength to do it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to respond to challenging circumstances with love.  Call upon the Holy Spirit for the gifts you need.

Serve:  How can you support someone who is faced with a tough task right now?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

Let’s start with a quick recap of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading: Jeremiah will be strengthened to preach a difficult message
  • Psalm: We proclaim God’s goodness, especially when life is tough
  • 2nd Reading: The Love of God shapes and directs our lives
  • Gospel: Jesus encounters opposition at Nazareth

The first reading, psalm, and Gospel all refer to moments that challenge us.  The prophets encountered it, the Psalmist sings about it, and the Lord himself met resistance and opposition to the message he proclaimed.  But note this: in spite of the difficulty they did it.

Sometimes saying what needs to be said is unpleasant and unwelcome.  We might want to avoid it or wish someone else could do it, but there are times in life when it’s up to us to deliver a tough message.  We know what needs to be said…and that it’s up to us to speak.

The key is how we say it.  How does our intention, our desire, and our tone convey a tough message?  The answer is found in the second reading: Love.  The love of Christ guides and directs every aspect of our lives – including those times when we are called to speak about a difficult topic.

This notion of “what” and “how” shows up repeatedly in the spiritual life:

  • What refers to the issue, content, and “facts” of a situation or circumstance
  • How refers to the manner in which it is conveyed – the way we do something

Our faith calls us to confront the reality of life, particularly when things are tough.  We need not fear engaging a difficult situation; rather, we draw on the love of Christ to guide us – both in what we say and how we say it – trusting that the Lord will provide us with the grace we need.

Let’s face it:  Life is tough!  But when the going gets tough, the tough get going…guided by God’s love.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on January 26, 2016.


Daily Mass: Standing in the presence of God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 15th Week of the Year

Moses stands before God and receives his commission to go to Egypt.  It will be hard, but the Lord will walk with him.  As we face our challenges in life, God will give us what we need as well.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


St. Peter & St. Paul Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul

These two great saints made an enormous impact in the Church, even as they encountered hard work and confronted their own weaknesses and sins.  May we look to their example and trust in the Lord for the grace we need to face the challenges of life.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Following Christ in the face of opposition. Catholic Inspiration

take up your cross

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

The death of John the Baptist recalls the fact that doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason does NOT mean that life will always be easy.  In fact, our faith in Jesus Christ will sometimes put us squarely in the face of opposition…and we recognize that we might suffer even as we serve the Lord with all our heart.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s podcasts


Daily Mass: Trial & Triumph. Catholic Inspiration

tough-mudders

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 34th Week of the Year

The Scriptures today make it clear that life will have its share of difficulties and challenges.  Yet as we we face our trials we look to the triumph of Christ for our inspiration to keep going when life is tough and persevere on the path that leads to heaven.


The Feast of the Ascension – Catholic Inspiration

graduation

Fr. Andrew’s Ascension Homily Podcast

Feast of the Ascension Readings

This time of year marks a major transition for many students: graduating from formal schooling and beginning a new experience.  This practical cycle of human life finds a parallel with the Ascension – where the disciples are now empowered by the Lord to continue his ministry.

Three Great Things