Tag Archives: early Church

Daily Mass: Choosing the apostle Matthias. Catholic Inspiration

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As Matthias takes the place vacated by Judas among the Apostles, the early Church demonstrates its ability to adapt and grow through prayer and thoughtful reflection.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 6th Week of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Daily Mass: Fasting and prayer in a dynamic Church. Catholic Inspiration

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The reading from Acts shows the how disciples of the growing, dynamic, early Church discerned God’s will through fasting and prayer.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Study, Pray, Serve: 5th Sunday of Easter

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Study: What do the readings say?

Pray: What do the readings say to me?

Serve: What do the readings do or make me say…today?

Let’s take a look at some of the major themes that appear in the Scripture readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter.

1st Reading – Acts 9:26-31

  • Barnabas brings Saul (St. Paul) before the Apostles, who learn how God has worked through him.
  • The Holy Spirit builds up the early Church.

Psalm 22:26-27,28,30,31-32

  • All people shall bow down before the Lord.
  • Note: this Psalm is extraordinary…verses 1-21 focus on the suffering of the righteous servant of God (Jesus), while verses 22-31 are all about God’s triumph. Give yourself a treat and read it straight through, and think about how it applies to the death and resurrection of Christ.

2nd Reading – 1 John 3:18-24

  • The Lord commands us to love one another, especially through our actions.
  • By following the Lord’s commands, we remain in him through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel – John 15:1-8

  • Christ is the vine, we are the branches; the Father tends and prunes the branches so that we bear fruit.
  • By staying connected to Christ – the vine – we remain in him and he remains in us.
  • If we are apart from Christ, we can do nothing.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Note: This post was first published on April 26, 2021.

Study, Pray, Serve: 2nd Sunday of Easter

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Study: What do the readings say?

Pray: What do the readings say to me?

Serve: What do the readings make me do or say…today?

Let’s take a look at some of the main themes of the readings for the 2nd Sunday of Easter.

1st Reading – Acts 4:32-35

  • The Early Church shares all things in common; no one suffers from grave need.
  • The apostles offer their witness to the resurrection of Christ; they are filled with great power.

Psalm – 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

  • The “stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone” now applies to Jesus.
  • Christ was rejected, and submitted to the agony of the Cross; Christ’s resurrection now becomes the cornerstone of our faith in God.
  • Our strength and courage from the Lord, who is our savior.

2nd Reading – 1 John 5:1-6

  • Everyone who believes in Christ is empowered to love God and one another. Our love for the Lord empowers us to keep his commandments.
  • Our faith in Christ leads to a victory that conquers the world.

Gospel – John 20:19-31

  • Jesus appears to the disciples, offering them peace and the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus appears to the disciples (this time with Thomas) and speaks about those who have not seen the Risen Lord but who in faith overcome their doubt and believe.

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Note: This post was first published on April 5, 2021.

2nd Sunday of Easter: Making disciples for the Lord Jesus. Catholic Inspiration

The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles reveals how the early Church, filled with the Holy Spirit, grew in numbers as the Apostles continued the ministry of Jesus.  Their example becomes our inspiration today to go and make disciples for the Lord.

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

2nd Sunday of Easter: One in heart and mind

Study: Where have I experienced profound moments of unity with others?

Pray:  Where do I see signs of disunity in my life?  Call upon the Lord for grace and strength.

Serve:  How can I help others grow closer together?  How can I foster unity?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Easter

“The community of believers was of one heart and mind…”  (Acts 4:32)

I marvel at the transformation of the disciples.  Before the resurrection of Jesus they were filled with fear, paralyzed by their own weakness and doubt; after the resurrection they are changed, as evidenced in even the basic ways they lived and worked together.

One heart and mind!

Unity can be challenging in even the best circumstances: we see things differently, hold our own unique values and principles, as well as personal tastes and interests.  Working together is tough, yet it is a common sign of holiness – the practical proof that we are doing our part to build the Lord’s kingdom here on earth.

What supports unity?  Jesus Christ!  Unity with Christ provides the grace for unity with Christ’s brothers and sisters; this clear sign of faith draws others to the Good News and fosters our community with one another.  Take a look at a few of the patterns that emerge in today’s readings:

  • 1st Reading – sharing according to need
  • Psalm – giving thanks to the Lord
  • 2nd Reading – love of God by keeping his commandments
  • Gospel – Christ’s peace that overcomes doubt

Another way to say it: Sharing, Gratitude, Love, Peace – which find their source in Jesus and flow through us to the those we meet.  I would suggest that the disciples used these building blocks to form the first elements of the Church, working together in unity with the grace of Christ to proclaim the Good News.

This work continues today.  We all know firsthand the effects of discord – where lives are broken and fragmented by selfishness, fear, hate, and a hardness of heart – yet we believe in something greater…Christ is triumphant!  Our response can mirror the disciples:

  • We acknowledge the obstacles in our lives
  • We turn to Jesus Christ and call upon his grace
  • We allow the Lord to work through us to unite with one another

May we bring these powerful blessings of the resurrection to our world today:

  • Sharing the gifts God has given us
  • Grateful for the blessings we have received from on high
  • Loving others as Christ loves us
  • Bringing the Lord’s peace to those before us

One heart and mind!


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Note: This post was first published on April 12, 2015.

Daily Mass: Christ’s resurrection changes everything! Catholic Inspiration

resurrection - the Passion of the Christ

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – St. Cornelius & Cyprian

St. Paul writes to the Corinthians about the crucial role of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Lord’s resurrection changed everything for the early Church, and Christ’s saving action continues to transform our lives today.


Photo credit: The Passion of the Christ.  2004.

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