Tag Archives: Christian Witness

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.

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: St. Mary Magdalene

Mass Readings – The Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

The Gospel of John recounts how Mary Magdalene was the first to meet the Risen Lord.  Her conversion and witness inspire us: no matter what our past has been, God’s grace can touch our hearts and change our lives!

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

***************

Photo credit: The Passion of the Christ, 2004.


Daily Mass: The conversion of St. Paul. Catholic Inspiration

harringtonwed_423

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

St. Paul’s conversion shows how God calls us to make changes in our lives as we draw close to Jesus Christ and proclaim the Good News.  The Lord reaches out to us in our weakness, inspiring us to turn away from our sins and become living witnesses to the world.


Christmas Season: Behold the Lamb of God. Catholic Inspiration

Lamb

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Christmas Weekday (Jan. 3)

John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is the one who takes away our sins.  As we renew our faith each day, may we seek Jesus above all else and commit our lives to his saving grace.


The Octave of Christmas: Mary, the Mother of God. Catholic Inspiration

Mosaic of BVM

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – The Octave of Christmas: Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Our knowledge of Mary flows from our knowledge of her Son, and her example teaches us how to be living witnesses in the face of adversity as we continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.

Happy New Year!


Daily Mass: Our testimony? Our example! Catholic Inspiration

witness

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent

The Lord points out that the works he performs testify on his behalf.  Following his example and the words of Isaiah the prophet, we have the opportunity every day to lead others to Christ as we observe what is right and do what is just, as we offer Christian witness in our daily actions.


Daily Mass: The Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. Catholic Inspiration

img_2408img_2400

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – The Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle

The call of St. Andrew reminds us that the Lord continues to invite us to follow him and proclaim the Good News so that others can experience the saving love of Christ.

Note: these pictures were taken in Amalfi on my recent visit in Italy.  Andrew is the patron saint of the town and the Cathedral.

img_2407img_2403