Tag Archives: Eucharist

The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

This homily takes a practical look at answering three questions:

  1. What is the Eucharist?
  2. What happens at every Mass?
  3. What are some ways to get the most out of Mass?

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Last Supper

Study:  Reflect on the Mass.  What parts do you find most helpful?

Pray:  Consider making a list of prayer needs for your use at Mass.  Keep this list near you for reference when you go to Church.

Serve:  Perhaps you know others who have been away from Mass for awhile.  Consider making the effort to invite them to join you at Mass.

The Body & Blood of Christ Readings

The celebration of the Eucharist is the highest form of Christian prayer.  Jesus defines the bread and wine and his body and blood, and then he commands his disciples to “take and eat…take and drink” in his memory.  Besides the readings we will hear at Mass, some other crucial Scripture passages testify to this essential element of our faith:

  • Matthew 26:26-29
  • Mark 14:22-26
  • Luke 22: 14-23
  • John 6:51-58
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

What happens when we go to Mass?  What do we encounter when we open our hearts to this hour long prayer?  Here are few key points:

  • We hear a good selection of the Word of God
  • We receive Jesus Christ in Holy Communion
  • We unite in prayer with others
  • We pray for the sick, those who have died, and our special needs
  • We have a few moments for silence and reflection

Of course in our fast paced, entertain-me-so-I-won’t-be-bored world, we can look upon the central prayer of the Church and wonder why the Mass doesn’t “get modern.”  The reality is that the Mass continues to adapt to the culture and times.  The real question is this: Do I come to the Mass with an open heart to encounter the Lord and his disciples?  Do I come with a focus to offer my life to be renewed by Christ?

Here are seven ideas for getting the most out of Mass:

  1. Read the Sunday Scriptures ahead of time.  This way you can get a sense of the key themes and be better prepared to follow the homily.
  2. Come prepared to pray.  This seems obvious, but many people often don’t come with their “list” of intentions and needs.  Take some time before Mass to consider who or what in your life could use a prayer.
  3. Pray before Mass starts.  Sometimes we can rush into church, drop into a pew, and try to follow along with the Mass.  Give yourself 5-10 minutes to reflect on the past week, look to the next, and ask the Lord for guidance and strength.  It really helps!
  4. Receive Holy Communion with heightened awareness.  This is Jesus Christ who offered his life on a Cross for the salvation of our souls.  It’s his blood that was poured out for the forgiveness of our sins.  Make that moment of receiving Him intentional and reverent; let the “Amen” come from your heart!
  5. Pray after receiving Holy Communion.  You have just received the Lord Jesus into your body – you have become a living Tabernacle – there is no better time to offer the deepest, most important issues on your plate to the one who loves you.
  6. Consider one takeaway that you experienced from every Mass. Name one thing (just one is perfectly fine) that struck you at every Mass.  Perhaps it was a point in the homily, a line from a hymn, someone you prayed for, something you experienced, or an insight that came to you in silence.  By naming one takeaway you actively participate in the prayer and engage your faith as you live your life.
  7. Use a resource to get the most out of Mass.  Some people like a devotional, missal, or prayer booklet – something that can be used both in and out of church.  Others prefer an online resource where they can follow up at a website, video, or podcast.  Still others favor their smartphones for handheld resources that they can take anywhere.  Find what works for you…the only true measure is the resource that helps you engage your faith each and every day.

Jesus Christ gives us the gift of himself in every Mass.  He defines what we do and commanded us to do it.  Every time we come to Mass we encounter the Lord and allow his grace to transform our lives.  May his Body strengthen our bodies; may his Blood flow through our veins.

After all, as his disciples, we have his work to do.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci; 1494-1499, tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic, 460 cm x 880 cm, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy.

Note: This blog was originally published on June 2, 2015.


Daily Mass: I am the Bread of Life. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Easter

My godson, Luke, traveled to the Cathedral from Spooner, WI today.  He made his First Communion on Sunday, and today I got to give him his Second Communion…he even got to wear his suit again!  The Gospel of John is appropriate today as the Lord states, “I am the bread of life.”

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


3rd Sunday of Easter: In the breaking of the bread. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Easter

On the road to Emmaus two disciples encountered Jesus as he explained the Scriptures and broke the bread.  These two elements – Scripture and Sacrament – are the core of every Mass.  As Christians have been nourished by the Eucharist from that very first Easter, may we continue to grow in grace every time we encounter the Lord in the breaking of the bread.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The Lord feeds us. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter

The Lord feeds the 5000 and sustains them body and soul.  This strength will empower the disciples to face their difficulties with joy, reminding us that every time we receive the Eucharist we are fed by the Lord.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Holy Thursday

basin and towel

Study:  Reflect on the readings today.  How is the Lord inviting you to serve?  How has the Lord provided opportunities for you to receive him in Eucharist?

Pray:  Go to Mass and recommit your life to Christ – giving your life and receiving from Him what you need.

Serve:  Who has the Lord placed in your path to help?  What can you do right now to make a difference?

Mass Readings – Holy Thursday

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (8 minutes, given at Cathedral on April 2, 2015)

Assembled together on the night before he died, the disciples celebrated the Passover meal with Jesus.  The recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses.  They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt.  They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.

And in the context of this great story of freedom, Jesus teaches and commands them to do two crucial things:

  • Give your life in service to others
  • Receive Christ in his Body & Blood

The Lord demonstrates by his own example: he washes the feet of his disciples – work that is reserved for servants – and commands them to do the same for one another.  There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol.  Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads from freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters.  Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.

During the course of the meal Jesus took that flat, unleavened bread and did something amazing.  Again, he teaches them that “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-23).  Note: this is not some vague, hazy statement!  The Lord defines the bread & wine in a new way, revealing to his disciples that he will nourish them as they embrace the new covenant of freedom through his death and resurrection. And then he commands them to “take and eat…and take and drink…”in his name.

Giving and Receiving.  Offering our lives as we are strengthened by the Lord,we are fed so that we might live for one another.  God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.  May we come frequently to the altar – fulfilling the command of Christ – so that we might be renewed to live each day for the one who died and rose for our salvation.

eucharist

This blog was originally posted on April 2, 2015.

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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.


Monday Conversation: Podcast Resources for a Powerful Lent

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There are many ways to get the most out of Lent.  This gift that the Church celebrates every year provides an opportunity for spiritual renewal.  Below you will find a short summary of some of the Homilies, Presentations and Retreats that I have offered over the last couple of years with themes that might speak to your own Lenten journey.  Feel free to try any of these podcasts; if they are helpful, you are welcome to share them with others.  After all, the purpose of the season is to draw our hearts to Jesus Christ!

Homilies

Preparing for Lent (13 Minutes) – This homily podcast offers some general helpful hints to consider as you get ready to enter into the season as a whole.  Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI on March 2, 2013.

Ash Wednesday (4 Minutes) – This short homily shows how messy, dirty, grimy ashes on the outside remind us of the messy, dirty, grimy reality of sin in our hearts.  As we repent and believe in the Gospel, may we call upon the Lord to wash us clean with the grace of Jesus Christ.  Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI on Feb. 18, 2015.  

Holy Thursday (8 Minutes) – At the Last Supper Jesus teaches and commands his disciples to receive his Body & Blood and give your life in service to others.  In our reception of Holy Communion may we be strengthened and renewed to offer our lives, following the example of Christ.  Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI on April 2, 2015.

Good Friday (10 Minutes) – The Cross of Christ – ugly, filthy with the blood of countless victims, jagged, and splintered – becomes the sign of the depth and breadth of agony Jesus endured.  As he embraces his suffering, the Cross becomes a bridge whereby he unites with all humanity, meeting us in our most profound moments of weakness and sin, and gives us hope through his triumph over death.  We must understand the Cross in the light of Easter joy: For if we only focus on the Cross then we have no hope – life becomes dark and filled with despair; and if we only focus on Easter joy then we have no respect for the gift of the Lord’s Passion – we do not value the price He paid for our salvation. Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI on April 3, 2015.

Easter (7 Minutes) – Their lives were changed; the sorrow cast from the shadow of the Cross is now transformed by resurrection glory…He’s alive!  The grace of Jesus Christ inspired the disciples to go out to the world – carrying their crosses – with the power the Lord’s triumph.  Christ brings this transformation to us today; his power continues to work in the world.  May we open our hearts to the resurrection…and be transformed!  Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI on April 5, 2015.

 

General Presentations

Personal Prayer: Making it Real (46 Minutes) – How do we make our personal prayer real?  This homily podcast highlights practical tips that bring power and meaning to our personal prayer. Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI on April 11, 2015.

Personal Healing & Renewal (44 Minutes) – The presentation explores a four step process of personal healing and renewal: Acknowledgement; Diagnosis; Prescription; and Follow through.  By examining four quadrants of human life (physical, intellectual, relational, spiritual) this presentation guides the listener toward personal growth in practical ways. Given to the Northern Waters Parish Nurse Group on October 9, 2015.

Christ Renews Our Lives! (31 Minutes) – This talk was presented to Confirmation students from the Cathedral and St. Francis Xavier parishes. Note these four points: God made us to be united with Him; Sin destroys our relationships with God and one another; Christ restores the relationship through his life, death, and resurrection; Each of us can choose to accept the gift of Christ and live as his disciple. Given at the Cathedral of Christ the King on November 11, 2015.

Extraordinary Life! (36 Minutes) – This “Theology on Tap” presentation asks some big questions:  Are you looking for some practical ways to transform your life?  Do you long for something special, filled with power, purpose, and meaning?  Fr. Andrew looks at 3 areas (Self, Others, God) and applies them to the ordinary and routine elements of daily life. Given at VIP in Superior, WI on October 22, 2015.

Prayer: Practical Pointers to Grow Closer to God (30 Minutes) – This “Theology on Tap” reflection offers some practical ways to strengthen your prayer life and grow closer to God.  Some topics include: Time, Space, Location, and Preparation; Dealing with Distraction; Using resources – including Scripture and Devotionals; Finding what works for you.  Given at Dubh Linh’s Pub in Duluth, MN on November 11, 2013.

 

Retreats

Knights of Columbus Men’s Retreat (September 13, 2014 – St. Joseph Church – Hayward, WI)  This Catholic Men’s Retreat explores three ways we draw near to Jesus Christ and one another: study, prayer, and service.

Eucharist (March 8, 2014 – St. Dominic Church – Frederic, WI) This parish retreat focuses on Eucharist as the central expression of our Catholic faith.

Christian in a Changing World (February 22-24, 2014 – Cathedral of Christ the King – Superior, WI) This parish mission looks at three key concepts: Our direction in life; our spiritual fitness; putting our faith into practice.

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.

May this Lent be filled with grace and power – God bless you!

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