Tag Archives: gratitude

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!

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


Daily Mass: A thankful heart. Catholic Inspiration

Once a year as a nation we pause and give thanks for our blessings.  It’s a great idea, and as disciples of Jesus Christ we pause everyday to thank the Lord with a grateful heart.  What are you thankful for today?  How can you share your blessings and be a light in the world?

Mass Readings – Thanksgiving Day Options

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Daily Mass: A grateful Samaritan. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 32nd Week of the Year

10 lepers were healed by Jesus and delivered from their horrible illness by his divine power.  Only one came back to say thanks – a foreigner – and his example inspires us to practice gratitude for the moments of grace we receive throughout our daily lives.

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25th Sunday of the Year: A generous heart.

Study:  How have I reacted in the past when someone I know has been particularly blessed or fortunate?  Am I supportive or jealous?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace and wisdom to celebrate sincerely with others when they have received special gifts or opportunities.

Serve:  How can you support others in their moments of blessing?  How might you be generous with gratitude for another person’s good fortune?

Mass Readings – 25th Sunday of the Year

Consider the following possible situations and scenarios:

  • Your neighbor that you have known for over twenty years has just won the lottery.
  • A high school classmate that you didn’t talk to very much in school makes it big in Hollywood.
  • A relative gets left a hefty sum of money from your old uncle and goes on a long trip around the world.
  • A kid who used to ride your bus to school is now the executive at the company – and is your boss.
  • A fellow employee in another office gets a big bonus for a successfully completed project.
  • Your best friend has the opportunity to have a special audience with the Pope – through a connection with a friend in the Vatican.

All of these scenes have one thing in common: through an encounter with generosity and/or opportunity another individual benefits and possesses rewards that we do not share.

How do we react? How do our attitudes and actions change toward those who have received unexpected (and sometimes unearned) generosity? While I know that I hope that I would be good natured, polite, friendly, and supportive – a part of me echoes with the sentiments of the workers in today’s Gospel.

There is a sense of justice, a feeling that we should get what we deserve that goes against the grain of the message today. The last workers got the same wage, even though they only worked a fraction of the time. It’s not fair!

In reality, the story went beyond fairness. No worker was cheated. No worker was denied a fair and agreeable wage. The Master simply wanted to be generous out of concern and care for others.

The fact is, God is generous to all of us. There are moments when we have fallen short of the Lord’s justice through sin and temptation. Yet like the workers today, we receive God’s generosity even when we have not earned it. May we live accordingly.

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Note: This blog was originally published on September 14, 2014.


Daily Mass: Justice and Mercy. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 20th Week of the Year

Jesus offers a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven where merciful generosity embraces and transcends justice…reminding us that one day we will call upon the Lord for mercy when we stand before him at the end of time.

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13th Sunday of the Year: Good News that offers hope.

Study: Recall a time when you received really good news.  How did it affect your life?

Pray: Reflect on the blessings of your life – perhaps even make a list – and take a moment in your prayer to thank the Lord.

Serve: It’s easy to take our blessings for granted; look for a way to help someone in your life recognize the gifts they have been given.

Mass Readings – 13th Sunday of the Year

There is a lot of Good News in the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – Elisha offers hope to an aging couple
  • Psalm – “For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”
  • 2nd Reading – Paul reminds us that we have died and risen with Christ
  • Gospel – Christ invites us to put Him first in our lives

As much as the world might try at times to make us think that bad news sells, deep in our hearts we long to hear Good News – words that inspire, give us hope, and energize our lives.

Good News reminds us that the Lord has a plan for our lives and invites us to trust as we make Jesus Christ the center of what we say and do.  Good News is not “pie-in-the-sky” that says just hang on long enough as you’ll get your reward; rather, we keep going because every day (good or bad) has unique lessons that can draw us closer to God and one another.  Good News proclaims that not only is there something fantastic at the end of the journey, but that the Lord himself will accompany us every step of the way.

Where do you see Good News in your life right now?  Where have you recognized Jesus Christ at work in your life?  Take a moment to thank the Lord for the blessings you have and help others to see the ways that they have been touched by God’s grace.  In other words: proclaim the Good News!

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Daily Mass: Praise the Lord! Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 9th Week of the Year

The first reading and psalm response show people praising God with grateful hearts.  What are you thankful for today?  How can you express in word or action fitting praise for what God has done in your life?

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