Tag Archives: Life and Death

Daily Mass: Our faith is a matter of life and death. Catholic Inspiration

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Jeremiah’s faith remains strong as his life hangs in the balance. May his example help us to be guided through this life by our trust in the Lord.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 17th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The Lord saves us that we might live in His light. Catholic Inspiration

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The words of Isaiah in the response today echo the reality of our faith as we gaze upon the Cross of Christ. May the Lord’s saving gift inspire us to offer our lives with joyful strength.

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

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


13th Sunday of the Year: We die to sin and rise with Christ. Catholic Inspiration

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St. Paul’s letter to the Romans teaches that we die to sin and rise with Christ, and as we place our hope in the Lord we have a strength to confront the darkness and evil that we uncover lurking in our hearts.

Mass Readings – 13th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


5th Sunday of Lent: The power and compassion of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

The miracle of Lazarus reveals the power of Jesus Christ and the hope we have in the Lord. May these matters of life and death inspire us to respond to the needs of our world with conviction and compassion.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


5th Sunday of Lent: The paths of life and death

Study: Recall a time when you experienced death.  How has this experience shaped the way you live?

Pray: Is there a life and death situation near you right now?  Call upon the Lord for grace.

Serve:  Do you have someone in your life who is facing a life and death situation?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Lent

Let’s take a step back and look at the these readings:

  • 1st – Ezekiel tells the people that the Lord will give them his spirit to rise from their graves
  • Psalm – “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”
  • 2nd – St Paul states that we will rise from the dead because the Spirit is in us
  • Gospel – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead

Life and death.  Throughout the readings this week these powerful realities weave together, reminding us that how we live and face our death has eternal consequences.

Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus he consistently taught that our lives provide precious opportunities to serve and care for one another.  Forgiveness, mercy, compassion, service, healing and outreach to the poor are themes that surface repeatedly throughout the Gospels.  WHAT we do and HOW we do it reveal the depth of our discipleship and our willingness to follow the Lord through this life.

Yet we also know that death is an experience that comes to us all.  We have stood at the graves of our loved ones, grieved for those who have gone before us, and dealt with the ache in our hearts when someone we care about is no longer with us.  Death reminds us that our opportunity to share our lives on earth has a limit, that we only have so much time on this rock before we are called into eternity.

And the fact that something awaits us after death is a conviction that shapes both how we live and die.  God gives us immortal souls, created to be united in the great Heavenly chorus. Yet even this is a choice; out of love the Lord gives us the freedom to choose…will we follow the Lord or a different path?

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on March 27, 2017.


Daily Mass: It’s a choice of life and death. Catholic Inspiration

In the first reading Moses makes it clear to the people of Israel that they have to make a choice between life and death. May we choose to live for the Lord, offering all that we have for the path that leads to Eternal Life.

Mass Readings – Thursday after Ash Wednesday

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: In life and death we belong to the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

St. Paul reminds the Romans that in both living and dying we are the Lord’s. We, too, owe everything we have to God…and how we face life, death and eternal life will reveal to others our desire to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

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

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The martyrdom of St. Stephen. Catholic Inspiration

With the joy of Christ’s birth ringing in the air we celebrate today the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr.  Why?  To help us see the connection between the Christ’s birth and saving death as we offer our lives for the Lord.  Thus, the Christmas spirit gives us hope to face the sacrifices of this life with the conviction that the Jesus Christ will guide and lead us to Heaven.

Mass Readings – Feast of Stephen, first martyr

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


32nd Sunday of the Year: Death & Resurrection

the-last-judgment

Study: What comes to mind when you think of Heaven?  Have you or someone you know ever had a near-death experience?  How does thinking of Heaven shape how you live your life?

Pray: Is there something that is keeping you away from God?  Take time to pray and consider receiving the Sacrament of Confession.

Serve:  Are there any tasks that you have neglected that would cause hardship to others if you died suddenly?  What steps can you take to make sure that you are ready when the Lord calls you home?

Mass Readings – 32nd Sunday of the Year

Both the 1st Reading and the Gospel point to the resurrection of the dead.  In the Second Book of Maccabees we hear how those who are tortured for their faith find hope in the resurrection to eternal life, and in the Gospel of Luke Jesus teaches the Sadducees that the dead will rise.

To talk about heaven is not some sort of “pie in the sky” thinking.  We look to this world – where we experience birth, life and death – as a pilgrim progress.  We are travelers passing through, confident that there is more to the journey when death comes our way.

This understanding of the resurrection of the dead is thus both a consolation and a challenge.  As a consolation we have hope!  We seek to love and know the Lord in this life so that we are prepared to be with him forever in heaven.  Life on earth leads to the eternal; we find that our longings in this world point toward a fulfillment that comes in the next chapter of our story.

Yet the challenge is also real.  Will we be prepared at the hour of our death?  Will we look upon the face of Jesus with love, or will shame, fear, sin and vice drive us away?  For in the end all will be fully known: either we will run to the Lord to seek his mercy for our sins, or we will run away because we see our sins as insurmountable obstacles.

The Church Fathers used the image of Holy Fire as a fitting example.  When we are called from this life we will stand before the burning fire of God’s love.  The elect will draw near to this fire for warmth (and very possibly) a cleansing that burns away all impurities.  The damned will simply burn up…unable to receive the mercy and grace.  Why?  Because they did not acknowledge their sins and accept God’s mercy and forgiveness during their journey on earth.

As we head toward the end of the Liturgical Year and the Extraordinary Year of Mercy, I invite all of us to ponder life, death and resurrection – seeking the Lord’s saving grace in this life so that we are prepared to meet Jesus Christ in the eternal life to come.

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The Last Judgment, Michelangelo, 1536-1541, Sistine Chapel, Rome.  Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis.


The Baptism of the Lord

baptism of the Lord

Study:  Recall a moment when you “died” to something sinful.  Who or what gave you strength?

Pray:  Thank the Lord for the precious gift of your life – and count your blessings!

Serve:  How can you offer some of your time or talent to help another face life and death issues?

Baptism of the Lord Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily

Living on the shores of Lake Superior, I am blessed with an abundance of water in my life.  Here in northern Wisconsin – with our countless clean, freshwater lakes – it is easy to take for granted this precious resource.

Yet consider these two elements of Water:

  • Life giving
  • Death dealing

Water is essential for human life.  Approximately 55-60% of our bodies are composed of water, and this crucial substance is always present wherever people are living and thriving.  What’s more, all life on our planet requires water – it simply is invaluable for existence.

Yet a surplus of water can lead to destruction.  A flood may literally wash away everything in its path with power that cannot be overcome.  Too much water and life drowns, unable to find the proper balance to survive.

This sense of life and death that we discover about water is not only true for life; it is also apparent when we discuss spiritual life.  In baptism we use water to reveal both of these aspects:

  • New life through a configuration to Jesus Christ
  • Death to sin through Christ’s death on a Cross

Through baptism, we are joined to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Freed from sin by the Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross, we are raised up to newness of life in this world as we prepare to be united to the Lord forever in heaven.

The Baptism of the Lord by John the Baptist reminds us that our experience of God draws on our relationship with the Lord.  His life becomes our life; his death frees us from our death.  Configuring our lives to Jesus through our baptism, we not only become his disciples – we open our hearts to receive his grace.

May we call upon that grace as we face the challenges and blessings of life today.  Trusting in Christ, we engage our lives for service as we follow his example of life and death.