Tag Archives: John the Baptist

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

John’s death vividly reveals the potential price tag for our faith.  Yet we can find new strength to face the injustices of life through our conviction that we are made for more…in this life and in the life to come.

Mass Readings – The death of John the Baptist

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: A life of faith in an unjust world. Catholic Inspiration

The cruel death of John the Baptist offers a brutal reminder that our world is filled with forces of destruction.  In the face of injustice we keep our eyes fixed on the Cross of Christ, so that we can acknowledge the evil around us with the strength of the Lord who triumphs over it.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 17th Week of the Year – St. John Vianney

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The Birth of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

John the Baptist offers a strong and potent example of Christian witness for us today.  John’s life served as a preparation for the messiah; he recognized the Lord from the very beginning and he embraced God’s call with fierce commitment.  Now it’s our turn!

Mass Readings – The Nativity of John the Baptist (Vigil Mass)

Mass Readings – The Nativity of John the Baptist (Mass of the Day)

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The birth of John the Baptist

Study: Recall a time when you were specifically chosen to carry out an important task.  How did you respond?

Pray: Is there a challenge or difficulty facing you right now?  Ask the Lord for the grace you need to carry it out.

Serve: Is there someone in your life that is having a tough time?  How can your words inspire and encourage?

Mass Readings – The Birth of John the Baptist

John the Baptist is a powerful prophet, calling the people to repentance and directing them to Jesus. Let’s start with an overview of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – Isaiah recognizes how he was called from the womb to serve the Lord
  • Psalm – “I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul speaks about how John was the herald for Jesus
  • Gospel – We hear about John’s birth and how Elizabeth names him

While I have always been fascinated by this fiery prophet, I sheepishly wonder if I would want to be in deep conversation with him for very long!  John conveys an urgent and intense conviction – now is the time for repentance – and I have always imagined that he would have the ability to look right through a person into the heart.

Yet this is exactly the instrument that was needed to prepare the way for Jesus.  Chosen by God, John’s birth, life, ministry and death all serve as a crucial preliminary step for people to encounter the mission of Christ.  John blazes the trail; Jesus leads people along the way.

John’s birth also teaches us that just as John was prepared for a specific mission, so we are also called by God to offer our lives in the world.  As sons and daughters of the Lord, our lives are a blessing that is meant to be shared.  We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and now we have work to do that falls to our particular situation in life.

How are you being called to offer your life today?  How do you see the Lord at work in your words and actions?  May the example of John strengthen our resolve to share the gift of our lives!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholic Inspiration

In the exchange between Mary and Elizabeth the two women give praise and thanks to God for the blessings they have witnessed.  May we take their example to heart and do the same in our lives each and every day.

Mass Readings – The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Photo Credit: The Nativity Story, 2006.


3rd Sunday of the Year: Little words…big effect. Catholic Inspiration

Those little words, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” have the power to bring healing and grace as we recognize our weaknesses and ask for mercy.  May the example of Jonah and Jesus inspire us to speak them frequently from the heart!

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


2nd Sunday of the Year: God’s call; our response. Catholic Inspiration

Study:  Reflect on an experience in life when you have been called to do something.  Who called you?  What did it feel like?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance to discern how to follow Jesus Christ today.

Serve:  Are there people in your life who are experiencing a calling?  How can you help them discover their path?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of the Year

Have you ever had moments in life when you wish the answers were written in the sky with letters that were clear and easy to read?  Where there is no doubt what to do; no hesitation that a certain choice is the best; no worry that something has been missed?  The question surfaces frequently:  How do we know the Lord’s call for our lives?

In the Scriptures today we have two examples where people are being called by God:

  • The call of Samuel in the temple of the Lord
  • The call of two of John the Baptist’s disciples by Jesus

While each story presents a perspective that is unique, both have some points that are worth noting:

  1. God takes the initiative.  It is the Lord who begins the encounter, speaking Samuel’s name or asking the disciples, “What are you looking for?”
  2. There is a human response.  Samuel calls out, “Here I am” while the disciples begin a conversation, “Where are you staying?”
  3. A call to action.  Both Samuel and disciples do something.  Samuel reaches out to Eli; the disciples stay with Jesus and one of them (Andrew) brings his brother Peter to meet the Lord.

The same three steps continue today.  God keeps inviting!  The Lord’s grace ceaselessly pours out upon the earth, inviting and empowering us to draw closer to God and one another.  Everything we have comes from the Lord, who takes the initiative to reach out to us in love.

Our response – both in word and deed – completes this initiative.  Accepting the Lord’s call we grow in wisdom and strength, developing our God-given gifts for service in the world.  As we continue to say yes to the Lord’s guidance we become more and more alive, become a conduit through which Christ’s mission touches the hearts and lives of others.

So how and where does the Lord speak today?  Where do we look for the call?  A few starting thoughts…

  • Start by reading the Scriptures! (It is the Word of God, after all.)  I recommend first digging into the Gospels.
  • Pray everyday.  It doesn’t have to be very long, but it does have to be real and from your heart.  Take a couple of minutes to count your blessings, make your petitions, and close with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Reach out to people of faith for fellowship & strength.  (Remember: united we stand!)
  • Go to Confession.  It’s a powerful way to begin again with God’s help.
  • Go to Mass weekly.  (Let’s see: get a Sacrament; hear God’s Word; pray alone and with others; fellowship; with a little peace & silence…not a bad gig.)

May we say yes to the Lord’s call in our lives, responding with full and open hearts, serving one another with the strength of Jesus Christ!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This post was originally published on January 12, 2015.