Tag Archives: Charity

Daily Mass: To drink from the cup of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Feast of St. James, Apostle

Jesus addresses a teachable moment when he explains that glory in Heaven comes from offering one’s life in charity and service.  James and John will drink from the cup of of Christ, reminding us that every time we offer our lives for others we follow the example of Christ.

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5th Sunday of the Year: Salt & Light

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Study:  Reflect on a time when you were able to help someone in a profound moment of need.  What gave you the “push” to help?

Pray:  Is there a situation in your life that requires action but you find yourself in need of guidance?  Bring this concern to the Lord in your prayer.

Serve:  How can you be Salt or Light to someone today?  How can your life enhance the quality and dignity of another?

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of the Year

We see some beautiful themes surface in the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – Through service to others God’s light will shine upon us
  • Psalm – “The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.”
  • 2nd Reading – We place our faith in the power of God
  • Gospel – “Salt of the earth” and “Light of the World”

Throughout these readings the Lord’s power is manifested every time we cooperate with God’s grace through works of charity and service.  Things like:

  • Share your bread with the hungry
  • Shelter the oppressed and homeless
  • Clothe the naked
  • Do not turn your back on your own
  • Remove oppression, false accusation, malicious speech
  • Satisfy the afflicted
  • Be gracious and lend
  • Conduct one’s affairs with justice
  • Give to the poor

When we do these things we discover that God provides the strength, wisdom, direction and guidance to carry them out.  The Lord takes our effort, reinforces it with grace, and blesses our work in ways we never imagined.  Like a brilliant light shining in the darkness, the glory of Jesus Christ pierces the pain and struggles of this life and offers us hope to continue on our way.

And when we let the Lord work through us we become Salt & Light.  Our lives, invigorated by God’s love, become conduits for Divine Charity to touch hearts and lives in our world today.  It is the Lord’s power at work in our lives, and we are blessed every time we say “Yes!” to the call of Christ to serve those in our midst.

 

 


1st Sunday of Advent

Marley's Ghost

Study:  When have I been swift to respond to the needs of others?  When have I been slow?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the clarity of sight to perceive the real needs within my reach.

Serve:  Don’t wait…do!

1st Sunday of Advent Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily

A Christmas Carol

Part I: Marley’s Warning

Every year I enjoy rereading the holiday story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I watch as many different movie and drama adaptations as I can, and I find in this simple tale much wisdom and insight.

The story recounts the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable old man who is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley.  Marley informs Scrooge that he will be visited by three ghosts who will show him the error of his ways.  During the visits we discover the story of Scrooge’s life, feeling both pity and anger at the circumstances and choices that have shaped him.  As Scrooge slowly changes, he finally discovers the joy and spirit of Christmas – just in time for Christmas Day.

The ghost of Marley begins this amazing process.  Marley is a wretched creature, wrapped in bandages and shackled by chains and heavy money boxes.  His words to Scrooge are direct and without comfort:  he must change his ways or suffer a fate worse than Marley’s.

Marley reminds Scrooge that the business of life is far greater than the work in their money counting house:
   “Mankind was my business.
   The common welfare was my business;
   charity, mercy, forbearance and benevolence
   were all my business.
   The dealings of my trade
   were but a drop of water
   in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

This warning speaks to us as well.  Every day we pass through life amid opportunities to serve and love others.  Yet preoccupation can take us away from the deeper issues of life, separating us from the very people and events that can lead us into blessed happiness.

As we prepare our hearts during this Advent season, may we take Marley’s warning to heart.  We, too, must journey through this life, reaching out to those placed on our path.  May we be vigilant, waiting for the day when Jesus will return.  May we share the gift of our lives, anticipating the Christmas joy that awaits us.