Tag Archives: Eucharist

19th Sunday of the Year: You are what you eat. Catholic Inspiration

As we continue to hear the “Bread of Life” discourse from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, we reflect on how our spiritual health is renewed by the frequent and worthy reception of Holy Communion. We are what we eat!

Mass Readings – 19th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Study, Pray, Serve: 19th Sunday of the Year

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Here are some of the main themes present in the readings for the 19th Sunday of the Year.

1st Reading – 1 Kings 19:4-8

  • Elijah is hungry in the wilderness and is fed by the angel of God.
  • Elijah’s food is meant to strengthen him for his journey.

Psalm – 34:2-9

  • “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”
  • We give praise and glory to God who saves us from distress.

2nd Reading – Ephesians 4:30-5:2

  • We are imitators of God as beloved children and live in love.
  • We cast out vices and we forgive one another as God has forgiven us.

Gospel – John 6:41-51

  • Continuing with the “Bread of Life” discourse from last week, Jesus addresses those who are murmuring.
  • Christ reaffirms that he is the living bread; whoever eats this bread will live forever.

Mass Readings – 19th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


18th Sunday of the Year: Holy Communion is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. Catholic Inspiration

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In the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel Jesus says that he is the Bread of Life, and as we hear these words in the context of the New Testament and the early Church we come to the awareness that this bread – our reception of Holy Communion at Mass – is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ!

Mass Readings – 18th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The Passover Meal sets the context of the Eucharist. Catholic Inspiration

Today’s reading from Exodus reveals how the Lord directed the Passover Meal to Moses and Aaron. This passage thus establishes the Passover as a central part of Jewish prayer which will ultimately set the context for the Eucharist. It was during a Passover Meal with his disciples that Jesus offers the New Covenant through his Body and Blood…which frees us from the bondage of sin and leads us to eternal life.

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

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Corpus Christi: Holy Communion is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. Catholic Inspiration

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At every Mass the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, what we call the Real Presence. In his teaching to the disciples, the Lord defines and commands us to receive him in Holy Communion. In light of the past year with the pandemic, we have discovered just how crucial it is for us to carry out this command of Christ.

Mass Readings – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Study, Pray, Serve: The Body and Blood of Christ

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On this feast of the Body and Blood of the Christ (Corpus Christi), let’s take a look at some of the themes that surface in the readings.

1st Reading – Exodus 24:3-8

  • The people affirm that they will “do everything that the Lord has told us.”
  • Moses sprinkles the people with the blood of the sacrifice to show their covenant with God.

Psalm – 116:12-13,15-16,17-18

  • “I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.”
  • We are the Lord’s servants, and we make our vows to God.

2nd Reading – Hebrews 9:11-15

  • Jesus Christ offers his blood as the sacrifice that cleanses us.
  • Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, made possible by his saving death.

Gospel – Mark 14:12-16,22-26

  • Jesus directs his disciples to prepare the Passover meal.
  • Jesus offers his Body and Blood as a new covenant.

Mass Readings – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: A mystical reflection on Holy Communion. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus offers a mystical reflection on his Flesh and Blood, the true food and drink that bring us eternal life.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter

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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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Lenten podcast resources from Catholic Inspiration

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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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18th Sunday of the Year: Come to the Feast! Catholic Inspiration

The prophet Isaiah, the Psalmist and the Gospel of Matthew all proclaim how the Lord feeds us with wholesome abundance. May our feasting – at our tables at home and the Table of the Lord – nourish us in this life in preparation for the Great Feast in Heaven.

Mass Readings – 18th Sunday of the Year


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