Tag Archives: Church

Daily Mass: Know the Lord, and share what you know! Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 26th Week of the Year

Jesus sends out 72 disciples – in pairs, trusting on God’s providence and facing tough struggles – so that they can proclaim the Kingdom of God.  Nehemiah and Ezra remind the people of Israel not to forget the Lord.  The Church needs both: we come to know God so that we might invite others to know the Lord as well.

***************
Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


21st Sunday of the Year: Three keys to Heaven. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 21st Sunday of the Year

Entrusting the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter, Jesus establishes the Church upon a rock that hell itself cannot prevail against.  Christ is the key; through prayer, sacraments and virtue we grow in grace through this life so that we can enter into the Lord’s Kingdom in the next.

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


Daily Mass: Practical Reconciliation. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 19th Week of the Year

The Lord offers a three-step process to confront division within a relationship.  It’s practical and powerful…and crucial for us to put into practice.

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


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


5th Sunday of Easter – Built of Living Stones

Stones

Study:  Reflect on a challenging time in your life.  How did you give and/or receive strength from others?

Pray:  For what particular strength do you need to ask the Lord?  Come to the “Living Stone” who is Jesus and seek the strength you need!

Serve:  Where can you cooperate with others right now?  How can your strength help others ?

5th Sunday of Easter Readings    

Imagine a piece of construction brick or stone.  At a distance the pieces look the same, with similarities in color, texture, shape, and size.  Yet on closer examination we perceive that every piece of brick or stone is different; when seen clearly each stone is unique.

We use stones all the time in our building and construction.  We use them in walls, fireplaces, foundations, and paving.  Stones possess an inherent toughness – they are the bones of the earth – which makes them useful and vital in life.

In the second reading we hear how the Scriptures use the image of a stone in our life of faith.  Peter writes that all people should come to Jesus, a living stone, so that we might be built into a spiritual house.  Following the example of Jesus, we become “living stones” that all might see God’s kingdom here on earth.

Stones remind us of two important points.  First, stones are strong, and we are called to live our faith with the same durability and toughness.  Life is not easy, and there are times when we recognize our weakness and failures.  Yet through our relationship with Christ we gain strength and power that we do not have by ourselves.  Through Christ our talents and gifts become strong resources to be used by God.

Second, in construction stones are used in cooperation with others, and this same cooperation is part of our human experience.  Take a stone or brick out of a wall and it becomes weaker; take a person out of a community and a change is felt.  Simply put, just as a stone adds strength to those around it, so to our lives make a profound difference on those around us.

As living stones we offer our God-given strengths and abilities to build up God’s people here on earth.  Sharing our lives, we become a powerful tool through which Jesus Christ continues to be revealed to all people through time.

Stones teach us about strength and cooperation.  These insights are part of every human experience and are used throughout our lives.  As God’s living stones we discover that our faith gives us power when we work together with those around us.  May that power help us to build God’s kingdom, leading others to Christ.

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

This Post was originally published on May 11, 2014.


Daily Mass: the Chair of St. Peter. Catholic Inspiration

chair

Mass Readings – Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle

The presider’s chair in any Catholic Church is a place of authority, overseen by a bishop who is a successor to the apostles…of which St. Peter is the rock upon which Jesus builds His Church.  May we draw strength from the Lord, our Great Shepherd, and offer our lives to care for those entrusted to us.

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


5th Sunday of Easter: The Command to Love. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 5th Sunday of Easter Homily Podcast

5th Sunday of Easter Mass Readings

The readings reveal two aspects of the Church: growing & glorified.  Through the times of both blessing and burden the command of Christ to Love shapes our lives as disciples, and directs us to love each and every day.

keep-calm-and-love-one-another-6