Tag Archives: Kindness

25th Sunday of the Year: We call upon the Lord for a generous heart.

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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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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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


20th Sunday of the Year: Kindness and hospitality to all.

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Study:  Recall a time when you were a stranger – at school, work, or in a new community.  How did it feel?  What was it like when someone welcomed you?

Pray:  Seek the Lord for guidance, especially to recognize and respond to those in search of a place to fit in.

Serve:  Who do you know right now who would benefit from a simple welcome?  How can you practice hospitality to someone today?

20th Sunday of the Year Readings

One of the things I enjoy whenever I go on vacation is the opportunity to pray at other parishes as a parishioner.  I put on a pair of slacks, a button down shirt, and I walk in as a stranger.  Nobody knows that I am a priest, and so I have the privilege to see a parish firsthand – like an ordinary visitor.

I find many insights when I walk in.  I try to keep my ears and eyes open, observing how people react to one another.  Do they smile?  Do they go out of their way to welcome?  Do they take the time to greet and help one another in their need?

As a stranger in these parishes I am an outsider, unknown without history or recognition.  I have no connections to families, businesses, or authority.  In other words, hospitality is often the only reason why anyone would speak to me; they have no other practical reason to do so.  Sure, they might want a new parishioner, but you can usually distinguish between sincerity and a sales pitch:  one comes from the heart, the other goes for the wallet.

When I encounter a welcoming parish, I always take mental notes.  What can I bring back to the Cathedral?  What actions already affirm what we do?  I usually scribble my notes on a piece of paper, saving them for a special opportunity to put them into practice.

Hospitality is a central part of the Christian life.  We reach out to strangers, visitors, and guests, because throughout time people of faith have discovered God’s presence whenever they have reached out to others.

The readings today have a common theme.  While God has spoken through a particular people (namely Israel), God calls all people – even strangers and foreigners – through faith to prayer and worship.  The gift and call to the Jewish people is “irrevocable” as Paul writes today.  Yet through this call people have seen the saving power of Christ and responded with life and joy as they welcome family, friends, and strangers to fellowship.

Practically, we live this theme whenever we reach out to one another.  When we recognize that God calls all people, we discover that we are part of a vast and rich family – fellow inhabitants on this rock we call planet Earth.

This is why we go out of our way to welcome one another.  This is why we take the time to introduce ourselves, greeting and meeting fellow members of a much larger family.  Whenever we take the time to reach out to one another, we live out our most basic call – welcoming one another with the hospitality of a people of faith.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on August 11, 2014.


Daily Mass: What we do and How we do it. Catholic Inspiration

The Psalm Response inspires us to help one another with a kind and gracious heart. As we determine what we can do today, may we also decide how to do it in a manner worthy of Jesus.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 31st Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Living a just life for the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

Psalm 15 offers some beautiful advice for living a just life for the Lord.  Holiness is not just found in the extraordinary; often, our most powerful Christian witness occurs in the normal, everyday interactions that we have with one another.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 12th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


School Mass: Serving Jesus. Catholic Inspiration

Whatever we do for one another, we do it for the Lord.  The Cathedral school kids learn that both our good and bad actions toward others are treated as if they were done to Jesus.  May we take this insight to heart as we offer our lives!

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


School Mass: Love, even when it’s hard. Catholic Inspiration

The kids at Cathedral School are reminded by the Lord’s command to love one another, even when it is hard.  That begs a question: who in your life is a challenge to love today?  Ask God for the grace to love them as the Lord loves us.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


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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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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


Daily Mass: God desires mercy. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 15th Week of the Year

Speaking with the pharisees, Jesus offers an insight into God’s compassion and mercy when he says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”  Today we have the opportunity to offer to Christ the gift of mercy as we lovingly respond to the weaknesses of those around us, as we claim the Lord’s mercy for ourselves.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


15th Sunday of the Year – Putting Love into Practice. Catholic Inspiration

Here-I-Am-Man

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – 15th Sunday of the Year

Like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke, we are called to be neighbor to all who cross our path – sharing the Love that Christ offers us with one another.


1st Sunday of Advent

Marley's Ghost

Study:  When have I been swift to respond to the needs of others?  When have I been slow?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the clarity of sight to perceive the real needs within my reach.

Serve:  Don’t wait…do!

1st Sunday of Advent Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily

A Christmas Carol

Part I: Marley’s Warning

Every year I enjoy rereading the holiday story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I watch as many different movie and drama adaptations as I can, and I find in this simple tale much wisdom and insight.

The story recounts the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable old man who is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley.  Marley informs Scrooge that he will be visited by three ghosts who will show him the error of his ways.  During the visits we discover the story of Scrooge’s life, feeling both pity and anger at the circumstances and choices that have shaped him.  As Scrooge slowly changes, he finally discovers the joy and spirit of Christmas – just in time for Christmas Day.

The ghost of Marley begins this amazing process.  Marley is a wretched creature, wrapped in bandages and shackled by chains and heavy money boxes.  His words to Scrooge are direct and without comfort:  he must change his ways or suffer a fate worse than Marley’s.

Marley reminds Scrooge that the business of life is far greater than the work in their money counting house:
   “Mankind was my business.
   The common welfare was my business;
   charity, mercy, forbearance and benevolence
   were all my business.
   The dealings of my trade
   were but a drop of water
   in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

This warning speaks to us as well.  Every day we pass through life amid opportunities to serve and love others.  Yet preoccupation can take us away from the deeper issues of life, separating us from the very people and events that can lead us into blessed happiness.

As we prepare our hearts during this Advent season, may we take Marley’s warning to heart.  We, too, must journey through this life, reaching out to those placed on our path.  May we be vigilant, waiting for the day when Jesus will return.  May we share the gift of our lives, anticipating the Christmas joy that awaits us.