Tag Archives: Difficulty

Daily Mass: Following Christ in the face of opposition. Catholic Inspiration

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Mass Readings – Friday of the 4th Week of the Year

The death of John the Baptist recalls the fact that doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason does NOT mean that life will always be easy.  In fact, our faith in Jesus Christ will sometimes put us squarely in the face of opposition…and we recognize that we might suffer even as we serve the Lord with all our heart.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s podcasts


Daily Mass: Discipline that comes from struggle. Catholic Inspiration

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Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 4th Week of the Year

In the Book of Hebrews we are reminded to treat our trials as discipline, something that Jesus encountered when he preached at Nazareth.  As we live our faith today may we consider our struggles and difficulties as “homework for holiness” through which God strengthens our faith and renews us in grace.

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Archive of all of Fr. Andrew’s podcasts


Daily Mass: Trial & Triumph. Catholic Inspiration

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Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 34th Week of the Year

The Scriptures today make it clear that life will have its share of difficulties and challenges.  Yet as we we face our trials we look to the triumph of Christ for our inspiration to keep going when life is tough and persevere on the path that leads to heaven.


Daily Mass: Calling upon the Lord in our need. Catholic Inspiration

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Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 26th Week of the Year (St. Vincent de Paul)

The psalm response “Let my prayer come before you, O Lord” reminds us that even in our darkest moments we turn to the one who knows us, loves us, and helps us when we need it most.

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And a little extra thank you from Fr. Andrew…


Daily Mass: Walking with Christ in the midst of conflict. Catholic Inspiration

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Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 15th Week of the Year

Sometimes we discover conflict even when we do the right things for the right reasons…just like the Lord in the Gospel today.  In these moments we trust in God’s grace to face our difficulties with our faith in Jesus Christ.


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.

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School Mass: Doing the Hard Stuff

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Cathedral School Mass Homily Podcast

Note: the reading today was taken from John 15:18-21.

“That’s hard!” How often did we say that as kids?  (How often do we say it as adults?!)  Yet facing the hard stuff is part of life – with God’s help as we strive to act as disciples of Jesus Christ.

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3rd Sunday of Easter – Strong Faith in Hard Times

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Study:  Reflect on an experience where your faith got you through a difficult time.  What (or who) in particular helped you?

Pray:  Offer up the needs of loved ones who are experiencing tough times right now.  Pray for them!

Serve:  Is there a way that you can offer fellowship or support for someone struggling?  How can you lighten their load?

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

3rd Sunday of Easter Readings

The power of Easter shines through the Scripture readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – The Disciples face persecution for their witness
  • Psalm – “I will praise you Lord, for you have rescued me.”
  • 2nd Reading – John’s vision of Heaven, where angels worship Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me?” three times

The disciples, freed from fear, now boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.  In fact, they wear their hardships like badges of honor – “rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.” (Acts 5:41)

A key point emerges: being a Christian does not mean that life will be easy.  On the contrary!  Striving to live in a manner worthy of Christ means that we will stand out and at times face hostility because we seek to live a Godly life.  At times we will encounter obstacles, setbacks, personal failures, and perhaps even ridicule – yet even in our weaknesses and failures we draw on the strength of the Lord for grace, mercy, and life.

This strength is highlighted in the encounter between Jesus and Peter, which takes place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection.  Peter has to face the Lord (the one he betrayed three times) and confront his own personal failure as he meets his friend and Savior.  Coming to Jesus (who knows his heart) Peter admits his inadequacy even as he affirms his love for the Lord.

These readings give us hope!  In tough times or smooth sailing, we turn (and return) to Christ for the wisdom and guidance we need.  And if we fail, we fall facing Jesus, who will lift us back up with a grace and strength to help us in our adversity – asking only that we renew our love for the one who died and rose for our salvation.


1st Sunday of Lent – Be with Me Lord, When I am in Trouble

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Study: Reflect on a moment when you were in a critical need.  What pulled you through?

Pray: Ask the Lord for grace regarding a difficult situation.

Serve:  How can you be a helping hand to another?

1st Sunday of Lent Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Let’s take a look at these readings that help us kick off Lent:

  • 1st Reading – a recap of how God saved the Israelites in Egypt
  • Psalm – “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”
  • 2nd Reading – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • Gospel – Jesus overcomes the Devil’s 3 temptations

Have you ever been in trouble?  Serious trouble?  End of your rope?  Lost?  Confused?  Abandoned?  Scared?  Feeling like you cannot breathe because the air has gone out of your chest?  Feeling utterly alone?

You’re in good company.  People of faith for over 3000 years have called upon the Lord in their darkest moments – seeking guidance and strength.

And God provides.  We don’t have to look very hard to find examples of pain and suffering, hardship and loss, struggle, catastrophe and sin.  We also know that there are no promises that life will be easy and free from pain.  What we know is simple:  God walks with us and sustains us in our moments of need.

Of course this is only a half truth – God walks with us always!  God never leaves us, but for some very human reason we seem to call out loud and strong when we recognize our need for the Lord.  Isn’t it odd that we “get it” when we are in need…that many of us who dedicate our lives to Christ see much more clearly when the truth is self-evident?

Perhaps not.  Perhaps what this first week of Lent shows us is that our need for God (always present in our lives) is most easily observed when we cannot hide from our need.  For when we are in trouble, we are confronted with the clear and obvious reality that it is only with the Lord’s grace that we can be guided and sustained.  In the times of our testing we discover both our limitations and the Lord’s love.

What are you facing in your life right now?  What requires your own personal admission and acceptance of Christ’s mercy?  Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble!

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If you are looking for more material to help you this Lent, you might consider this list of presentations I have offered over the last couple of years.  Feel free to check it out and share if you find it helpful:

Podcast Resources for a Powerful Lent


4th Sunday of the Year – When the Going Gets Tough

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Study:  Recall a time when you had to speak up in a difficult situation.  How did you face it?  What gave you strength to do it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to respond to challenging circumstances with love.  Call upon the Holy Spirit for the gifts you need.

Serve:  How can you support someone who is faced with a tough task right now?  How can you help them?

4th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Let’s start with a quick recap of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading: Jeremiah will be strengthened to preach a difficult message
  • Psalm: We proclaim God’s goodness, especially when life is tough
  • 2nd Reading: The Love of God shapes and directs our lives
  • Gospel: Jesus encounters opposition at Nazareth

The first reading, psalm, and Gospel all refer to moments that challenge us.  The prophets encountered it, the Psalmist sings about it, and the Lord himself met resistance and opposition to the message he proclaimed.  But note this: in spite of the difficulty they did it.

Sometimes saying what needs to be said is unpleasant and unwelcome.  We might want to avoid it or wish someone else could do it, but there are times in life when it’s up to us to deliver a tough message.  We know what needs to be said…and that it’s up to us to speak.

The key is how we say it.  How does our intention, our desire, and our tone convey a tough message?  The answer is found in the second reading: Love.  The love of Christ guides and directs every aspect of our lives – including those times when we are called to speak about a difficult topic.

This notion of “what” and “how” shows up repeatedly in the spiritual life:

  • What refers to the issue, content, and “facts” of a situation or circumstance
  • How refers to the manner in which it is conveyed – the way we do something

Our faith calls us to confront the reality of life, particularly when things are tough.  We need not fear engaging a difficult situation; rather, we draw on the love of Christ to guide us – both in what we say and how we say it – trusting that the Lord will provide us with the grace we need.

Let’s face it:  Life is tough!  But when the going gets tough, the tough get going…guided by God’s love.