Tag Archives: hardship

Study, Pray, Serve: 2nd Sunday of Lent

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Let’s explore some of the themes we find in the Mass readings for the 2nd Sunday of Lent.

1st Reading – Genesis 12:1-4a

  • God sends Abram forth from his kinsfolk to a new land.
  • God promises that he will make Abram a blessing, and he will become the father of a great nation.

Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22

  • “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”
  • With hope in his kindness, we wait upon the Lord, who loves justice and right.

2nd Reading – 2nd Timothy 1:8b-10

  • We bear our share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.
  • God saves and calls us to a holy life, through the appearance of our savior, Christ Jesus.

Gospel – Matthew 17:1-9

  • Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain where he is transfigured in glory.
  • The disciples see the Lord conversing with Moses and Elijah.
  • From a bright cloud they hear the Father’s voice, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Lent


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Daily Mass: We fight fire…with faith! Catholic Inspiration

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As the Lord faces hostility, he shows the disciples a way that transcends animosity and violence. May his example inspire us to fight fire with faith!

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 26th Week of the Year


Catholic Inspiration Archives

St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!

Study, Pray, Serve: 27th Sunday of the Year

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Let’s examine some of the themes in the readings for the 27th Sunday of the Year.

1st Reading – Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4

  • The prophet calls upon the Lord for help in the midst of suffering and misery.
  • God answers, stating that the fulfillment will come in its proper time.
  • One must have faith, the steadfast trust in God’s promises, in order to live.

Psalm – 95:1-2,6-9

  • “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
  • With enduring faith, we worship and acclaim the Lord our God.

2nd Reading – 2nd Timothy 1:6-8,13-14

  • We “stir into flame the gift of God” when we bear hardship for the Gospel.
  • The Holy Spirit will help us remain faithful.

Gospel – Luke 17:5-10

  • The Lord exhorts the Apostles to have faith like a mustard seed.
  • Faith is a normal response to our love for the Lord, and not an excuse for special rewards.

Mass Readings – 27th Sunday of the Year


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Daily Mass: Hardship is part of the journey of faith. Catholic Inspiration

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Paul and Barnabas endure their share of hardship for the sake of the Gospel.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 5th Week of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Study, Pray, Serve: 14th Sunday of the Year

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Here are some of the themes that surface in the readings for the 14th Sunday of the Year.

1st Reading – Ezekiel 2:2-5

  • Ezekiel is sent by God as a prophet to a people who have rebelled in the past.
  • Whether they heed or resist, they will know that a prophet has been sent among them.

Psalm – 123: 1-4

  • “Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.”
  • The Psalmist cries out to God on behalf of the people who have experienced mockery and contempt.

2nd Reading – 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10

  • Paul acknowledges his weaknesses as an opportunity to rely on Christ.
  • In Christ we have the strength we need to face the hardships and persecutions of this world.

Gospel – Mark 6:1-6

  • Jesus is rejected in Nazareth as the people take offense at him.
  • Christ is amazed at their lack of faith, and does no mighty deeds there.

Mass Readings – 14th Sunday of the Year


22nd Sunday of the Year: Facing the pain of suffering

Station - Jesus in Crucified

Study:  Recall a moment when you encountered personal suffering.  What gave you strength to continue?

Pray:  Many people are suffering right now in our world.  Pray for those in need and join your heart with them to God.

Serve:  Where is the suffering face of Christ in your life right now?  How can you help another who is in need?

22nd Sunday of the Year Readings

Some of the toughest questions I routinely encounter as a priest occur during sickness or untimely death. In the midst of great suffering and pain, a loved one comes up to me and asks, “Father, why did this have to happen? Why do they have to suffer? Why doesn’t God take the pain away?”

In the anguish of the moment no answer is adequate; the pain hurts too much, and seeing another suffering is often too hard to describe with words. Our hearts feel more than we can say, and the emotions overflow the limits of our soul.

We encounter suffering in many ways: at the graves of loved ones; in hospital and nursing home rooms; at the bedsides and wheel chairs of homebound; through news stories of tragedy; and in quiet moments all alone. Many of us are familiar with the grief and pain of suffering, and we are quick to recognize its presence in those around us.

In the Old Testament and Gospel readings today we encounter suffering. Both Jeremiah and Jesus raise two crucial points:
1. The pain is real.
2. The suffering is part of their witness.

First, neither Jeremiah nor Jesus deny that suffering is part of their lives. They do not hide from it, repress it, pretend it is not there, or run away out of fear. Their suffering is real; they acknowledge the truth of what they must face and confront it.

Second, the pain they face is part of their ministry. Simply put, they suffer because they have remained faithful to God. Jeremiah burns with the fire of a prophet; to remain silent would destroy him and deny God’s word. Jesus knows that only through his death and resurrection can he fulfill his Father’s will; to run away would deny God’s plan for salvation history.

From the example of Jeremiah and Jesus we discover that our suffering is part of a much larger picture. We know that suffering is an element of life, mixed with the joy and beauty we encounter daily. We know that it will come in difficult and sometimes unexpected ways.

Yet God is present in our suffering. Just as Jeremiah and Jesus knew that God was present with them, so too we can see that the Lord is near, giving us strength and hope. Thus suffering may be a way that we draw closer to God, mindful of our need.

Note: This post was first published on August 26, 2014.

Daily Mass: Our task will not be easy, but God will give us strength! Catholic Inspiration

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The Lord speaks with great clarity that persecution and hardship will accompany us as disciples, even as we trust in the Lord for the grace and strength to overcome them.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 14th Week of the Year

Daily Mass: When the going gets tough, get going…with God! Catholic Inspiration

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In the Second Letter to Timothy we hear the call to remain steadfast in the face of persecution and hardship.

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


Daily Mass: God's grace gives us hope. Catholic Inspiration

The Scripture readings today all reference human hardship: suffering, battle and illness. Yet through it all we have hope as we see how God gives us the grace we need to overcome these challenges every time we turn to Christ.

Mass Readings – Monday of the 4th Week of Lent


Catholic Inspiration Archives

5th Sunday of Easter: The cost of the commandment to love. Catholic Inspiration

We all know that Jesus commands us to love one another, but all too often we overlook the sacrifice it takes to follow the teaching and example of Jesus. All three readings today point out that there will be a cost…and we will pay it with our lives.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

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