Tag Archives: John the Baptist

Daily Mass: Christ must increase in our hearts. Catholic Inspiration

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John the Baptist reveals a humility and depth of knowledge as he recognizes how the ministry of Jesus must grow. “He must increase; I must decrease.” May these words apply to each one of us as we welcome Christ as King of our hearts.

Mass Readings – Saturday after Epiphany

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The Baptism of the Lord

My photo at the Jordan River while on pilgrimage in the Holy Land in 2019.

Study:  Find out about your baptism.  When was it?  Who performed it?  Who are your Godparents?  Who else was present?

Pray:  Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.

Serve:  How can you live your baptismal call today?  How can your faith inspire or assist another?

Mass Readings – The Baptism of the Lord

A few years ago I was having lunch when I ran into Fr. Bob Koszarek, a retired priest from our diocese.  When I asked him what brought him out for lunch he said, “I am celebrating the anniversary of my baptism.”  The comment struck me, especially when he followed it up with, “Do you know the day of your baptism?”

The answer is no.  Yet as I prepare for Mass this week I have made a commitment to find out.  We claim (rightly so) that baptism is a crucial sacrament in the Church – the gateway to all other sacraments whereby we are configured to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Most people know if they have been baptized; my sense is that very few know the actual date.

Our faith is a precious gift – worth fighting for, worth dying for.  Perhaps today we pause to recall just how precious it truly is…Jesus Christ poured out his blood on the Cross for us that we might have eternal life.  His baptism was the revelation of the Trinity, where we hear the Father’s voice from heaven as the Spirit descends upon the Son in the form of a dove.  Our baptism allows us to participate fully in God’s presence for the grace and guidance we need.

I invite us today to claim our baptism.  Some simple steps:

  • Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know Jesus and live as a Christian disciple
  • Embrace your faith through study and prayer
  • Serve others in the name of Jesus Christ (and with his help and strength)
  • Allow your life to bring Good News to the World

Our baptism is not a one time event.  Rather, it is an ongoing expression of Christ working through us.  May the Baptism of the Lord inspire us to live our faith with joy as we engage our lives with his power.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on January 4, 2016.


Daily Mass: The birth of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

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The birth of John the Baptist continues to build up expectation as we await the coming of the Messiah. God is constantly doing something new; do we see the Lord’s hand at work in our lives today?

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent


Daily Mass: Are we open to God’s Good News? Catholic Inspiration

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Zechariah’s response to the angel Gabriel reveals a common human trait to doubt good news. May we confront this behavior in our hearts as we seek recognize the Lord at work in our lives each and every day.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent


3rd Sunday of Advent: Testify to the Light! Catholic Inspiration

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The Gospel reveals how John the Baptist was sent to testify to Christ, the Light of the world. Following John’s example, we are called to testify to the Light…so that others will find Christ in our words and actions.

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Advent


Daily Mass: Christ must increase in our hearts. Catholic Inspiration

Photo by Alem Su00e1nchez on Pexels.com

John the Baptist reveals a humility and depth of knowledge as he recognizes how the ministry of Jesus must grow. “He must increase; I must decrease.” May these words apply to each one of us as we welcome Christ as King of our hearts.

Mass Readings – Saturday after Epiphany


3rd Sunday of Advent: The Spirit of the Lord guides us.

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Study: Consider a moment when you heard really good news.  How did it feel?  How did it change the way you thought or acted?

Pray: Ask the Lord for guidance how your life can be a blessing to others.

Serve: Do you know someone who is having a bad day?  How can your life bring light to their lives?

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Advent

The readings of this 3rd Sunday of Advent are filled with hope and power:

  • 1st Reading – Isaiah proclaims, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.”
  • Psalm – “My soul rejoices in my God.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul says, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.”
  • Gospel – John the Baptist comes to testify to the Light.

The themes here all point to God’s power and glory.  As Christians we have confidence that the Lord walks with us, sustains us, and empowers us to face the challenges and obstacles of life.

Isaiah recognizes that there are troubles in this life – the poor, the brokenhearted, those captive and in prison.  We, too, understand very well that there are problems that must be faced and situations that will push us to our limits.  Yet we are not alone; God’s Spirit fills us with new life!

This is cause to rejoice!  Our Good News in Jesus recalls that Christ is victorious over sin and death.  The Lord comes into our world to breathe new life into our limbs when we are weary.  We have a strength that does not fail, and we call upon God with joy.

And like John the Baptist, we can testify to the light of Jesus Christ in the world.  People are hungry for this light, and people continue to give their lives that God’s light will shine…to cast out darkness and evil.

So call upon the Holy Spirit!  Rejoice in the Lord!  Pray always!  And testify to the grace and peace that comes when Christ Jesus shines in our hearts!

This, my friends, is the Good News of the Gospel.

Note: This post was first published on December 11, 2017.


2nd Sunday of Advent: Prepare the way of the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

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Isaiah and John the Baptist urge the people to prepare their hearts and make a straight path that leads to God.

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent


2nd Sunday of Advent: Am I prepared?

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Study: Reflect on an experience where you were able to act in a strong and powerful way.  How did you prepare for this work?

Pray:  Do you see an obstacle in your life that is keeping you from the Lord or another person?  Pray for the grace to prepare the way.

Serve: How can you assist someone who is working on a difficult task right now?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent

This week we hear about John the Baptist who embodies the great call of Isaiah the prophet to “prepare the way of the Lord.”  John heralds the coming of the Messiah, urging us to change our ways and prepare our hearts.  Here’s a quick recap:

  • 1st Reading – Isaiah comforts the people as God prepares the way.
  • Psalm – “Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.”
  • 2nd Reading – We patiently await the Lord’s coming.
  • Gospel – John the Baptist preaches repentance and prepares the people for Jesus.

The stirring quality of these readings prompts us to respond decisively.  God calls us to action!  God comes with power!  The urgency underscored in these readings today emphasizes that eternal life is at stake; what we do here on earth leads to repercussions in Heaven.

Yet we also know that careful planning frequently precedes bold action.  As we follow Christ we take the time that Advent offers to reflect on how the Lord is speaking to our lives.  We pause in this season because there are critical times in life that demand stillness, silence, reflection and thoughtful attention.  Simply put, we slow down with the Lord so that we are ready to speed up when life switches gears.

What is God doing in our lives today?  What needs preparation?  How is the Lord working in and through our hearts?

Take this week and perform a simple internal spiritual inventory.  Consider this one question – If God called you home tonight, would you be ready?    If the answer is yes, then we live our faith with eagerness and zeal.  If the answer is no, then we take time to prepare the way for the Lord.

Note: This post was first published on December 4, 2017.


Daily Mass: The Passion of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

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John the Baptist came to point others to Jesus, and his death inspires us to face our sufferings with fervent hope in Christ through His victory on the Cross.

Mass Readings – The Passion of St. John the Baptist