Tag Archives: Conviction

The Power and Unity of Pentecost

Study:  Reflect on a time when you encountered a difficult experience.  Where did you find your strength?

Pray:  Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you, especially to unite with others in challenging situations.

Serve:  How can you help foster unity in your life?  What can you do to bring people together?

Mass Readings:

Pentecost Sunday at the Vigil Mass

Pentecost Sunday Extended Vigil

Pentecost Sunday Mass During the Day

It can be somewhat confusing to know what readings to follow – depending on the day and the options available a person can hear a number of different Scripture readings this weekend.  Stepping back for a moment, however, we can tease out some major themes that surface on this important feast of the Church:

  • Power – to face what comes before us with God’s strength
  • Unity – to join together beyond boundaries and divisions

In many respects this feast marks the birthday of the Church.  The disciples, having watched the Lord ascend to Heaven, are now “on their own” to carry out the Good News of Christ.  The point, of course, is that they are not alone!  Filled with the Holy Spirit their hearts are transformed and their lives forever changed.  They have become willing instruments empowered by the Spirit to speak and act for the glory of God.  They don’t look anything like their former selves – timid, fearful, and self-serving; they now fearlessly engage the world with the conviction that Jesus is Lord.

And as they are strengthened by the Spirit one sign increasingly becomes apparent – the unity of believers as a self evident sign that God’s grace is at work.  Several approaches underscore this sense of unity:

  • Understanding one another beyond the challenge of language
  • Working together as a body does with its many parts
  • Becoming spiritually fruitful
  • Forgiveness with one another

Language, cooperation, fruitfulness, and forgiveness are all hallmarks of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.  All are crucial and take an enormous amount of effort – supported by the POWER of the Holy Spirit!

Is there a place in our lives today that would benefit from unity?  Are there relationships and situations that require healing and strength to grow?  Do we recognize circumstances (perhaps beyond our control) that cry out for the Lord’s intervention?  If so, then we can confidently turn to the Spirit for the grace we need to face what lies before us.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.  O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful , grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise, and ever rejoice in his consolation.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen!


Daily Mass: How strong is your faith? Catholic Inspiration

The faith expressed by the woman in the Gospel today was simple and direct…and because of this her child was healed.  May her example inspire us to take the gift of faith we have been given and engage our lives with the power and insight of Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 5th Week of the Year

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: What are you afraid of? Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 28th Week of the Year

What are you afraid of?  Jesus invites us to cast out fear and trust in God’s providence.  May we honestly face our fears and call upon the Lord for the courage and conviction we require.

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The blessing and burden of faith. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

The first reading and the Gospel are at opposite ends of how people respond to the call of faith.  In the first reading Peter’s prayer in the name of Jesus restores a dead woman, Tabitha, to life; in the Gospel the invitation of the Lord to eat his body and drink his blood causes many to walk away.  It begs the question: How’s your faith?  Is it vibrant or feeble, building others up or filled with doubts?

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Empowered by the Holy Spirit. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples boldly proclaim the Good News in the face of opposition…inviting us to call upon the Spirit to strengthen us in our moments of difficulty.

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

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


3rd Sunday of Easter: An encounter with the Risen Lord.

Study: Where do you find your faith renewed?  What activities build up your relationship with the Lord?

Pray:  Is there someone in your life who is searching for God?  Pray that the Lord gives you guidance to say and do what is helpful.

Serve: Is there a situation or activity where your time and talent can help others grow closer to the Lord?  How can you get involved?

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Easter

The readings this week are filled with power and zeal.  The resurrection of Jesus inspires the early Church, and their encounter with the Risen Lord in the breaking of the bread testifies to the enduring grace we receive every time we come to Mass.  Take a look:

  • 1st Reading – Peter boldly proclaims the Good News to the crowd
  • Psalm – “Lord, you will show us the path of life.”
  • 2nd Reading – the resurrection renews us to live by God’s grace
  • Gospel – Jesus explains the Scriptures and is made known in the breaking of the bread

A pattern emerges: an encounter with the Risen Lord changes our lives in dynamic and life-giving ways.  Peter is no longer timid or afraid to stand up for Christ; Christians conduct themselves with faith and hope; the disciples have their minds opened and hearts burning as Jesus is present to them in the breaking of the bread.

It is the depth of this change that bears close inspection.  These people are renewed and empowered with a strength and conviction that can inspire us today.  They burn with the flame of faith, and through the example and witness of their lives the Gospel message will spread like wildfire.

This is our task today.  As we look to the early Church, we acknowledge that NOTHING was easy for them.  Their trust in God put them in the path of tremendous obstacles, trials and persecutions.  And yet with God’s grace their triumphed…and we can, too.

I’d like to suggest a simple two-step process:

  1. Where do we encounter the Lord in our lives today?
  2. How can we invite others to experience what gives us life?

The first question requires us to pause and reflect on the prayers, sacraments, fellowship and other life-giving activities that renew our hearts.  The second question challenges us to step out in faith and invite those we know and love to encounter the Risen Lord.  May the faith of the early Church inspire us to proclaim the Good News with passion and joy!


29th Sunday of the Year: Hang in there! Catholic Inspiration

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – 29th Sunday of the Year

Life is filled with challenges and difficulties, and we are often encouraged to “hang in there” when times get tough.  But where do we find our strength?  The readings this Sunday inspire us to turn to the Lord for the grace to continue.