Tag Archives: Easter

Easter Day

Once we recognize and affirm the resurrection of the Lord, everything changes: Faith, Hope and Love ignite as our hearts are transformed with God’s saving power. May the joy of this day inspire us to live our lives for Risen Savior!

Mass Readings – Easter Day

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Holy Week

Holy Week

Pastoral Note: This post was originally given on April 12, 2014.  I share it once again in the hope that all of us will enter more fully into the gift of this sacred time.  Fr. Andrew

Study:  Recall a time in your life when you experienced death and new life.  Where did you find the strength?  Who helped you through this time?

Pray:  Spend some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus this week.  Read Mark 14-16; Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; and John 18-21.  Take in as many prayer opportunities as possible in your parish.

Serve:  Who in your life is dealing with life and death issues right now?  How might you be present to them to offer help, comfort, or strength?

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We enter into the heart of the Christian mystery: Holy Week offers us a time to pause, reflect, and pray as the Church ponders on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This mystery, often called the Paschal Mystery, recalls us to the saving work of the Lord.  His death frees of from the burdens of sin and death, and his resurrection opens for us the path to eternal life.  This mystery is profoundly experienced over the Triduum – the 3 Great Days:

  • Holy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday – the Passion of the Christ
  • Easter (Vigil/Day) – the Resurrection of the Lord

On Holy Thursday we find ourselves in Jerusalem, eating with the disciples at the Lord’s Supper and feeling awkward as he washes their feet – wondering how we would react if he did that for us.  We might identify with Peter or Judas – especially when we consider the times we have willingly betrayed or turned our back on the Lord.

On Good Friday we experience the physical pain, emotional abandonment, and personal humiliation on the path to Calvary (also called Golgotha or Skull Place) and look on with horror at the cruel death of Jesus.  We might also consider the times we have helped others – as Simon did when he was forced to carry the Cross of Christ.    And then we stand in profound sorrow with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, helpless as the innocent suffer injustice.

On Easter we wait in vigil and rise early in the morning with Mary Magdalen, only to find to our wonder and joy that the tomb is empty:  Christ is alive!  Our world, like that of the apostles, is changed forever as we experience new hope and life.

A word to the wise – we get out of Holy Week what we put into it.  Here are some simple ways for an incredible experience.

  • Make church services a top priority – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Vigil or Day).
  • Take time to read and reflect on the scriptures (see at the top under “Pray”).
  • Make Holy Thursday an opportunity to offer a special act of service or kindness to another.
  • Make Good Friday fasting extra special with a gift to a particular charity that helps the poor.
  • Make Easter a time of gratitude – take a quiet moment to count our blessings and thank the Lord.
  • Find some time throughout this week to tell the people in our lives how much we love them.

May this be a time for all of us to grow closer to the Lord and one another.

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Daily Mass: God transforms us with Easter glory. Catholic Inspiration

Both Peter and Mary Magdalene reveal how Christ’s resurrection transforms our human weakness and empowers us for service in the world.  We, too, are called to receive the grace of Easter into our hearts as the Lord takes the gift of our lives and equips us to proclaim the Good News.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


2nd Sunday of Easter: The power of the Resurrection.

Easter Banner 2010 copy

Study: Reflect on your life right now.  What needs to be touched by the power of Christ’s resurrection?

Pray: The resurrection of Jesus brings power and hope to all believers; pray for God’s grace in your daily life.

Serve:  How might the Good News of Christ shine through your words and actions today?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Easter

I continually marvel at the power of the Resurrection of Christ in the lives of the apostles.  They are different people!  Standing in the light of Easter, touching and speaking to the Risen Lord, they can’t go back – their lives are forever changed and empowered to proclaim Good News.  Check this out:

  • 1st Reading – Signs & Wonders performed by the Apostles
  • Psalm Response – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”
  • 2nd Reading – John proclaims the Good News of Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus appears to his Disciples, and Thomas moves from doubt to belief

Note this: it wasn’t the miracles, healings, or teachings of Jesus that brought about this change.  It was the resurrection; all these people who formerly followed Jesus are transformed into a new creation by the experience of the Easter.  They are freed from fear and no longer bound by sin.  Their lives are shot through with grace, mercy, peace, and joy.

I want this.  I want this for every person I meet, for every person I know, and certainly for my own heart.  To bask in the light of Christ raised from the dead – to know that God has built a bridge that covers the gap from our weakness to the glory of Heaven – is to live with a power and conviction that brings the Lord’s life to a world in need of Good News.

So today:

  1. What needs to be healed in our lives?
  2. How might we proclaim Good News to others?
  3. How might we foster our faith in the Lord…and witness Easter joy?

Our faith is not a history lesson.  Christ’s resurrection continues to bring change and renewal to our lives today.  May we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Easter glory to shine in our lives.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

Note: This post was first published on March 29, 2016.


Easter Day! Catholic Inspiration

Easter Lily

Beyond the agony of the Cross and the sorrow of the Tomb on that first day of the week the message was proclaimed:  He’s Alive!

And everything changes.  This group of disciples – bound by fear and selfishness – are transformed with a new strength and conviction.  Their encounter with the Risen Lord will empower them to face the obstacles of this world with joy and hope.  They have seen the risen Christ…what is there to fear?  They have embraced the one who has conquered sin and death – there is NOTHING that can shake their confidence in the light of Easter morning.

This same strength comes to us.  Like the first disciples, we can turn to Jesus and allow his saving grace to renew us with a strength far beyond our own.  We can claim a hope that sustains us in the midst of our challenges and struggles.  The Easter sunrise brings light to the darkest corners of our hearts.

What in our lives needs to be touched by Jesus Christ?  We are invited to boldly come forward, receive his resurrection strength, and face whatever this world presents with confidence: the victory of Christ enlivens us to travel through life with the conviction that the grace he gave his disciples continues in our hearts today.

May this Easter season be a time of transformation and renewal; a time where we embrace the gift of our lives with a new freedom and conviction.  In the light of this Easter, may we follow the one who leads us from sin and death to the abundance of life…in this world, and the world to come.

Happy Easter!

Mass Readings – Easter Day

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


Holy Week Preparations

Holy Week

Pastoral Note: This post was originally given on April 12, 2014.  I share it once again in the hope that all of us will enter more fully into the gift of this sacred time.  Fr. Andrew

Study:  Recall a time in your life when you experienced death and new life.  Where did you find the strength?  Who helped you through this time?

Pray:  Spend some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus this week.  Read Mark 14-16; Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; and John 18-21.  Take in as many prayer opportunities as possible in your parish.

Serve:  Who in your life is dealing with life and death issues right now?  How might you be present to them to offer help, comfort, or strength?

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We enter into the heart of the Christian mystery: Holy Week offers us a time to pause, reflect, and pray as the Church ponders on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This mystery, often called the Paschal Mystery, recalls us to the saving work of the Lord.  His death frees of from the burdens of sin and death, and his resurrection opens for us the path to eternal life.  This mystery is profoundly experienced over the Triduum – the 3 Great Days:

  • Holy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday – the Passion of the Christ
  • Easter (Vigil/Day) – the Resurrection of the Lord

On Holy Thursday we find ourselves in Jerusalem, eating with the disciples at the Lord’s Supper and feeling awkward as he washes their feet – wondering how we would react if he did that for us.  We might identify with Peter or Judas – especially when we consider the times we have willingly betrayed or turned our back on the Lord.

On Good Friday we experience the physical pain, emotional abandonment, and personal humiliation on the path to Calvary (also called Golgotha or Skull Place) and look on with horror at the cruel death of Jesus.  We might also consider the times we have helped others – as Simon did when he was forced to carry the Cross of Christ.    And then we stand in profound sorrow with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, helpless as the innocent suffer injustice.

On Easter we wait in vigil and rise early in the morning with Mary Magdalen, only to find to our wonder and joy that the tomb is empty:  Christ is alive!  Our world, like that of the apostles, is changed forever as we experience new hope and life.

A word to the wise – we get out of Holy Week what we put into it.  Here are some simple ways for an incredible experience.

  • Make church services a top priority – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Vigil or Day).
  • Take time to read and reflect on the scriptures (see at the top under “Pray”).
  • Make Holy Thursday an opportunity to offer a special act of service or kindness to another.
  • Make Good Friday fasting extra special with a gift to a particular charity that helps the poor.
  • Make Easter a time of gratitude – take a quiet moment to count our blessings and thank the Lord.
  • Find some time throughout this week to tell the people in our lives how much we love them.

May this be a time for all of us to grow closer to the Lord and one another.

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

Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


Easter Day: The Lord is Risen! He is risen, indeed. Catholic Inspiration

The resurrection of Jesus brings hope and life as we turn away from our sins and embrace the living Lord.  No matter what’s happened in the past, may we draw strength from God’s love and walk in the light of Christ’s amazing grace.  The Lord is risen!  He is risen, indeed.

Mass Readings – Easter Day

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Monday Conversation: The Easter Season…now what do I do? Catholic Inspiration

The Easter Season lasts 50 days, and many people ask, “Now what do I do?”  This glorious season is meant to transform us by the light of the Risen Lord.  Here are three key points from this Monday Conversation (22 Minutes):

  1. Review Lent
  2. Face the fear of Sin & Death
  3. Evaluate our lives by the light of Heaven

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Easter Homily

Mass Readings – Easter Day

In the light of that first Easter day the disciples were transformed as they began to comprehend the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Freed from the fear of sin and death, they embraced their faith and changed the world.  May we continue to follow their example as we allow Easter joy to fill our hearts and renew our lives.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


Easter Day

Easter Lily

Study:  When have you experienced a profound moment of change and growth?  What brought it about?

Pray:  Open your heart to Jesus Christ.  Let the joy of the resurrection transform your life.

Serve:  Claim your faith!  Let your love for the Lord direct your thoughts, words, and actions – in whatever you face today.

Easter Day Readings        Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (posted April 20, 2014)

In the early hours of that first Easter Day we celebrate an incredible hope as word spread through the city of Jerusalem – Jesus is alive.

His followers had been crushed by the agony of the Cross.  Lost – beyond all sense of pain, sorrow, and grief – from the darkness of their fear and despair they passed on the message: we have seen him, we have touched him, we have eaten with him – the Lord has been raised!

I have always been struck by the transformational effect the resurrection of Jesus had upon his disciples:

  • Fear to Faith
  • Helplessness to Hope
  • Lament to Love
  • Cowardice to Courage

The same disciples who once fled for their lives will now go out into the world to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.  They will face persecution, suffering, and martyrdom in order to testify to the truth of Easter Day: the Resurrection of Christ.  What’s more, they will do this with an overwhelming sense of conviction and strength.

No one can ignore the power of this effect.  The encounter with the Risen Lord changes everything.  What is there to be afraid of?  Jesus has broken the chains of sin and death – we can face anything in this world with confidence.  Jesus has triumphed, and in the light of Easter Day we now draw on his strength to face our battles with joy.

The death of Jesus on the Cross was for our sins; the resurrection of Jesus was for our lives.  The power of Easter Day directs our attention to the sacred and precious gift of life.  Life is worth fighting for, worth dying for, and worth living for – in this world and the next.  The resurrection reveals God’s love for our lives; we are worth the sacrifice of the Cross and empowered to live with faith, hope, and love.

How will we live this great promise of faith?  How will we allow the power of Easter to transform us?  For remember: the moment we acknowledge the truth of the resurrection our lives fundamentally change.  Directed by the saving work of Christ we now engage the world on new terms: we witness through word and action the love of Jesus each and every day.  With our eyes fixed on heaven we boldly walk this earth as his disciples.  We live our lives with real truth and power.  We live our lives as God’s sons and daughters.

The authentic witness of our faith is THE WAY that people truly discover Jesus.  It was true for the disciples on that first Easter Day, and it is true for disciples today.

Perhaps today is the day that our faith takes on a deeper meaning and purpose in our lives – placing Jesus first in all that we say and do.  May this Easter Day fill our hearts with grace and power to live in the light of Christ.  May we let the Lord into our hearts and allow our lives to be transformed by his love.

Christ is alive!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!