Tag Archives: God

29th Sunday of the Year: Heaven & Earth.

Study:  Name a role model who lives a principled life.  What is it that they say or do that inspires you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the strength to make the right choice, especially over a difficult or challenging situation.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life who looks to you for guidance and example?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 29th Sunday of the Year

The first reading, psalm, and gospel readings today touch upon the notions of earthly and heavenly governance. Part of our human condition requires that we recognize our need for others; by working with people we unite in strength, and by serving the Lord we understand our values and priorities in life.

Let’s start first with human governance. In the first reading from Isaiah we hear how God has anointed Cyrus – the pagan king – as the instrument for Israel’s redemption. While the king does not know the Law or the Prophets, he gives the people of Israel a new opportunity by conquering their enemy, Babylon.

This distinction between the pagan King and the people’s faith is a helpful guide for us today. While Christianity has made countless contributions to Western Civilization, we find ourselves living in a culture that has many non-Christian influences. Some are good, some neutral, and others are just plain bad. Yet Isaiah teaches us today to look for what is good and useful, recognizing that God can work through a variety of instruments.

Since we live in this world filled with all these different elements, we are constantly challenged to discern and choose those options which are good, holy, and true. It is not always easy! Indeed, we can find ourselves confronted by issues that push and stretch us in a variety of ways.

So how do we decide? The gospel today offers a gem from the Lord:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
And to God what belongs to God.”
Matthew 22:21

We have duties and obligations as members of both heaven and earth. In the world we have our responsibilities – voting and jury duty, abiding civil laws, serving in local organizations, and actively living as good citizens. And as a people of faith, we are bound to follow the teaching and commandments of Jesus Christ.

So what do we do in a conflict? In the end we remember that all creation is the Lord’s. When pushed to extreme, we follow Christ. God made this world, and one day we will be called out of it. May our example show to others our desire to be good citizens – both on earth, and in heaven.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This blog was originally published on October 13, 2014. 


Daily Mass: The Lord speaks to our hearts. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 16th Week of the Year

God speaks to the people in great and small ways, reminding us that the Lord continues to touch our hearts and invite us to respond.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


17th Sunday of the Year: It’s all about relationships. Catholic Inspiration

Relationships

Fr. Andrew’s Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – 17th Sunday of the Year

Our relationships – with God and one another – form the framework of our lives.  In light of the readings today we strive to heal those relationships that are broken and make even stronger  those that are well.


Extraordinary Life! Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Theology on Tap Presentation Podcast (36 minutes)

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.  This Theology on Tap presentation was given at Vintage Italian Pizza (VIP) in Superior, WI on October 22, 2015.


Christian in a Changing World – Living each Day – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

“Christian in a Changing World” is a 3 night Parish Mission that was offered February 22-24, 2015 at Cathedral of Christ the King.  The presentations help us understand how we walk our spiritual journey through the ups and downs of life.

3rd Night – Living in a Changing World Podcast (44 minutes)

The third presentation discusses how we navigate change and challenge in the course of our lives.  How do we face trials and struggles?  How do we live – reacting to events, engaging them, or passively drifting along?  Four words are used to guide this presentation:

  • Attitude
  • Habit
  • Team
  • God

When we bring these different aspects together, we find that we live the gift of our lives with joy – not that life will be easy – but that we are attuned to bring our best effort to the Lord, who in turn will touch our lives with the grace we need.


The Most Holy Trinity

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Study:  Recall a time when you had an experience of God.  Consider how you have changed because of this encounter.

Pray:  Is there something or someone in your life who is in need of an encounter with God?  Are you grateful for an encounter you have witnessed in your own life?  Take this to your prayer.

Serve:  How can you help others encounter God in their lives?  What can you do for others to remove obstacles and allow them to experience God’s grace?

Here in the North we are blessed with an abundance of natural resources.  Forests, lakes, rich farmland, beaches, trails, and countless other treasures comprise the bounty of our countryside.  Many of these resources are easy to take for granted, especially for those of us who live among them all year long.

Take water for example.  The lakes and rivers of Wisconsin inspire and relax people throughout the seasons.  From fishing to water skiing, the activities surrounding water are endless.  Indeed, when compared to other places around the world, our supply of fresh water is a priceless commodity.

Of course water does come in different forms.  As a solid, liquid, or gas water is both useful and easily recognizable.  The different forms help us to understand that one substance can be revealed in a variety of ways; something can be the same while appearing in a different or even contradictory fashion.

The Holy Trinity is one of the central mysteries of our faith.  At its heart lies our belief that there is one God who is revealed to us in three different ways:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three Persons, who we invoke every time we make the sign of the Cross, are part of the experience of faith which the followers of Jesus encountered.

As the disciples listened to the teaching of Christ, they understood that Jesus was the Father’s only Son.  They accepted the promise that Jesus, who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, would ask the Father to send the Advocate – the Holy Spirit, to guide them and give them strength.  It is through our faith in Christ that we come to this knowledge, for God is revealed to us through these three Persons, who are in complete and inseparable unity.

Yet the Trinity is not only a mystery which teaches us about God; it is a mystery for our own lives as well.  Just as the Father sent the Son, and later the Holy Spirit – we, too, are sent to reach out to our sisters and brothers with the knowledge and hope that we have received.  We are invited to both live in unity with those around us, even as we work to bridge the divisions and hostilities which separate us.

The Trinity is a mystery that reveals to us the love of God – through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  May we respond in a similar fashion, reflecting the love of God to those around us.