Tag Archives: Mercy

Daily Mass: Be open to the goodness of God. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus offers a word of praise to his Heavenly Father for the goodness he has poured out on creation.  This grace is not because of our own perfection; rather, the Lord meets us in our weakness and blesses us with his merciful love.  It begs a simple question: Are we open to receive it?

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

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10th Sunday of the Year: The problem is sin, the solution is Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Our faith acknowledges the presence and power of sin in our world today.  Temptation is all around us, working to ensnare us and lead us astray.  The solution?  Jesus comes into our world to free us from the chains of sin and lead us into the grace that only God can provide.

Mass Readings – 10th Sunday of the Year

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10th Sunday of the Year: Christ gives us the grace we need.

Study: Recall a time when you had to confront your sinfulness.  What were the obstacles you faced?

Pray: Consider adding an Examination of Conscience to your daily prayer.

Serve: How can you extend mercy and forgiveness to others right now?

Mass Readings – 10th Sunday of the Year

There are a number of themes that surface in the Scripture readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – Adam and Eve before the Lord in their sin; the Lord’s command to the serpent
  • Psalm – “With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.”
  • 2nd Reading – The spirit of faith sustains us in the challenges of life and guides us to Heaven
  • Gospel – Jesus interacts with the scribes, his relatives and the disciples

Sin is real.  While we do not live in a world that wants to call attention to the times when we choose something contrary to the will and commandment of God, we know by experience and observation that it happens everyday.  What’s more, we often find ourselves hearing a thousand different excuses for the shortcomings and failures of those around us…offering every possible reason why:

  1. it’s not our fault
  2. it’s someone else’s fault
  3. it’s not really a big deal
  4. everyone else is doing it so I might as well
  5. it’s not a problem if you are not caught

and so it goes…

Yet what we find in the first reading is a clear acknowledgement of the sin of Adam and Eve through the temptation of the serpent.  In their weakness our first parents fell from grace and transmitted original sin into the spiritual DNA of humanity.  In our moments of humble insight we understand just how wounded we are and how easy it is to slip into behaviors that lead us away from God and one another.

The Lord, however, does not leave us in this plight alone.  Rather, the Psalmist reminds us that the Lord extends mercy upon us, and St. Paul teaches that the spirit of faith empowers us to face the trials of this life with the gift of grace.

The source of this grace is found in Jesus Christ, who claims us as his family through our willingness to do the will of the Heavenly Father.  In other words, God sends his Son to give us the help we need to return to Him!

Yes there is sin.  But we draw near to the one who overcomes the power of sin and restores what was lost.  May we call upon God for the grace we need to acknowledge our sins, accept the Lord’s mercy, and live in the light of Jesus Christ!

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Photo Credit: Son of God, 2014.


Daily Mass: When the Son of Man is lifted up. Catholic Inspiration

United in love with his heavenly Father, Jesus teaches the people that they will know who he is when he has been lifted up.  As we gaze upon Christ on the Cross may we recognize our hope as we turn from our sins and accept his forgiveness.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent

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5th Sunday of Lent: The lesson of a grain of wheat

Study: When in my life have I had to let go of something, someone, so that growth could happen?

Pray: Am I struggling right now to let go?  Ask God for help – wisdom and strength – to do it.

Serve:  Is there someone in my life that needs help letting go of a past mistake or hurt?  How can I help them?

Pastoral Note: The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent provide an option for using the “Year A” readings at Mass for the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process, but for those who follow the usual cycle the reflection is offered below.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Lent

The Gospel of John today offers an image that contains the central idea of the Christian faith:

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
John 12:24

Picture a grain of wheat in your hand.  It is a tiny, lifeless thing; alone it can be crushed for flour.  Yet if that grain is allowed to fall to the ground two things will happen.

First, the grain will die to itself.  That is, it will cease to be a GRAIN of wheat.  Its hull will be broken down and disintegrate, the kernel will lose its appearance, and it will no longer be able to be used for flour!

Second, the grain will become something new.  The grain will be transformed into a new and living creation, full of life and possibilities.  It will not resemble the grain – it will be vastly larger, living, able to grow, and full of new potential.

Simply put, as the grain of wheat “died” to its old self, a new life was able to burst forth.  The old passed away, making new hope and opportunity available.  This is the Paschal Mystery – a journey from death to life.

Like the grain of wheat, Jesus will also make this journey; from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, his life will be a process of transformation, change, and new life.  Through his death, he will not only be raised to life, but he will become the instrument by which God saves us as well.

What does this mystery mean for us?  If this journey from death to life is our own, how do we live it out?  How do we experience the Paschal Mystery in our lives?  Here are four ideas for reflection:

1.  Death – we no longer need to be afraid!
2.  Life – we let go of our selfishness – to grow!
3.  Sin – we “die” to our faults; God’s grace fills us.
4.  We become like Christ – if he did it, so can we!

The Paschal Mystery makes sense, because we encounter the process of death to life in so many everyday experiences.  It is not an easy journey, but when we open our hearts to this mystery, we allow God’s transforming grace to work within us, remaking us into a new creation, alive in Christ!

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Note: This post was originally published on March 15, 2015.


Daily Mass: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. Catholic Inspiration

The parable of Jesus today offers us a profound phrase for our daily meditation: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of Lent

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Daily Mass: Do I really have to forgive? Catholic Inspiration

St. Peter asks the question that all the disciples are thinking…and Jesus drives home the point about forgiveness with a powerful parable.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Lent

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts