Tag Archives: Mercy

29th Sunday of the Year: The suffering of Jesus Christ

800px-Champaigne_La_Crucifixion

Study:  Consider an experience of suffering in your life.  What lessons did you learn?  How did you change and grow?

Pray:  Many people carry heavy crosses every day…pray for them that they find the strength and grace they need.

Serve:  Many people carry heavy crosses every day…how can you help them?

Mass Readings – 29th Sunday of the Year

The readings today weave together around some common themes:

  • 1st Reading – The Servant who suffers to ransom others
  • Psalm – We trust in the Lord’s mercy
  • 2nd Reading – Jesus, tested in every way, sympathizes with our weaknesses
  • Gospel – Christ came to serve and offer his life…inviting us to do the same

Let’s start with Jesus.  The Lord’s mission included not only teaching and healing, but was most clearly articulated in his death and resurrection for the life of the world.  Christ died for our sins – taking our place by his suffering on the Cross for the evil we have done.  His resurrection blazes a trail for us that leads to Heaven.

It is crucial to note that suffering is the path, not the goal.  God the Father did not choose Jesus to suffer out of a desire for pain, but to bridge the gap between the human and divine.  The Lord is the High Priest whose suffering draws near to a wounded and broken humanity.  Like us in all things but sin, Jesus embraces us as he stretched out his hands on the Cross.

The victory of the Resurrection reveals suffering as the doorway, a path that when taken purges and cleanses, through which Christ has passed to break the bonds of sin and death.  Suffering does not end in suffering; it leads to a freedom in Christ that is filled with grace, mercy, and peace.

This message has elements of consolation and challenge for us today.  The consolation?  We look to Christ for our redemption – turning to the Lord whose saving death and resurrection give us eternal life.

The challenge?  We are called to face our suffering, recognizing in the crosses of our lives the path of redemption that God sets before us.  In other words, we drink from the cup of Christ’s suffering – but we do it with conviction, faith, and hope.

The suffering we face today is part of our transformation as disciples.  We engage the challenges of this life, not because we welcome pain, but because we see God’s hand at work in our struggles to purify our hearts and desires.  Through this process we offer our lives, following the example of Jesus Christ to bring life to those in our midst.

Drink from the cup.  Consider the sufferings of today as an offering to the Lord – given out of love that our lives might be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ!

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La crucifixion, Philippe de Champaigne; 1644-1646, 800 x 600 pixels.

Note: This post was first published on October 13, 2015.


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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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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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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