Tag Archives: Christian Witness

Daily Mass: God sends us into the world. Catholic Inspiration

The Lord gives his authority to the Twelve Apostles and sends them out to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven.  This is our legacy of faith; like those first apostles we are empowered by the Lord for service in the world.  Now get to work!

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 14th Week of the Year (St. Benedict)

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Daily Mass: Is your life Good News? Catholic Inspiration

The Lord commands the disciples to “go into the world and tell the Good News.”  Our faith today is built on the witness of those who have gone before us.  But the command of Jesus applies to us as well…prompting us to consider how we will proclaim the Good News to those around us today.

Mass Readings – The Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

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Daily Mass: St. John – Apostle & Evangelist

As an apostle, St. John was filled with the Holy Spirit and sent by Jesus; as an evangelist, his writings have inspired generations of Christians with the Good News of the Gospel.  We can look to John for an example: living our faith in the world today as we  testify to the light of Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – Feast of St. John, Apostle and evangelist

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Daily Mass: The Body of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 31st Week of the Year

St. Paul teaches that we are part of the Body of Christ, and as members of this body we work with and for one another.  What’s more, Jesus explains in a parable that the Kingdom of Heaven is open to many that society might not recognize as belonging to this body.

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Daily Mass: The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church celebrates the birth of Mary out of gratitude for her cooperation with God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.  As we remember the Mother of God today, may we continue to open our hearts – cooperating with God’s plan for our lives as the Lord’s disciples.

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary’s assumption into Heaven reveals her crucial role in the Church.  As the Mother of God her “fiat” to the Angel Gabriel proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and her fidelity to God’s will as she stood at the Cross offers us a profound example as we strive to live our faith in the midst of difficulty.

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20th Sunday of the Year: Christian Hospitality

Study:  Recall a time when you were a stranger – at school, work, or in a new community.  How did it feel?  What was it like when someone welcomed you?

Pray:  Seek the Lord for guidance, especially to recognize and respond to those in search of a place to fit in.

Serve:  Who do you know right now who would benefit from a simple welcome?  How can you practice hospitality to someone today?

Mass Readings – 20th Sunday of the Year

One of the things I enjoy whenever I go on vacation is the opportunity to pray at other parishes as a parishioner.  I put on a pair of slacks, a button down shirt, and I walk in as a stranger.  Nobody knows that I am a priest, and so I have the privilege to see a parish firsthand – like an ordinary visitor.

I find many insights when I walk in.  I try to keep my ears and eyes open, observing how people react to one another.  Do they smile?  Do they go out of their way to welcome?  Do they take the time to greet and help one another in their need?

As a stranger in these parishes I am an outsider, unknown without history or recognition.  I have no connections to families, businesses, or authority.  In other words, hospitality is often the only reason why anyone would speak to me; they have no other practical reason to do so.  Sure, they might want a new parishioner, but you can usually distinguish between sincerity and a sales pitch:  one comes from the heart, the other goes for the wallet.

When I encounter a welcoming parish, I always take mental notes.  What can I bring back to my parishes?  What actions already affirm what we do?  I usually scribble my notes on a piece of paper, saving them for a special opportunity to put them into practice.

Hospitality is a central part of the Christian life.  We reach out to strangers, visitors, and guests, because throughout time people of faith have discovered God’s presence whenever they have reached out to others.

The readings today have a common theme.  While God has spoken through a particular people (namely Israel), God calls all people – even strangers and foreigners – through faith to prayer and worship.  The gift and call to the Jewish people is “irrevocable” as Paul writes today.  Yet through this call people have seen the saving power of Christ and responded with life and joy as they welcome family, friends, and strangers to fellowship.

Practically, we live this theme whenever we reach out to one another.  When we recognize that God calls all people, we discover that we are part of a vast and rich family – fellow inhabitants on this rock we call planet Earth.

This is why we go out of our way to welcome one another.  This is why we take the time to introduce ourselves, greeting and meeting fellow members of a much larger family.  Whenever we take the time to reach out to one another, we live out our most basic call – welcoming one another with the hospitality of a people of faith.

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