Tag Archives: message

1st Sunday of Advent: Heed the message. Catholic Inspiration

We have the gift of this short, powerful season of Advent to heed the message of God’s love in the person of Jesus Christ.  Are we ready?  This is the time to take the message to heart and put it into practice.

Mass Readings – 1st Season of Advent

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


4th Sunday of the Year – When the Going Gets Tough

when the going gets tough

Study:  Recall a time when you had to speak up in a difficult situation.  How did you face it?  What gave you strength to do it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to respond to challenging circumstances with love.  Call upon the Holy Spirit for the gifts you need.

Serve:  How can you support someone who is faced with a tough task right now?  How can you help them?

4th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Let’s start with a quick recap of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading: Jeremiah will be strengthened to preach a difficult message
  • Psalm: We proclaim God’s goodness, especially when life is tough
  • 2nd Reading: The Love of God shapes and directs our lives
  • Gospel: Jesus encounters opposition at Nazareth

The first reading, psalm, and Gospel all refer to moments that challenge us.  The prophets encountered it, the Psalmist sings about it, and the Lord himself met resistance and opposition to the message he proclaimed.  But note this: in spite of the difficulty they did it.

Sometimes saying what needs to be said is unpleasant and unwelcome.  We might want to avoid it or wish someone else could do it, but there are times in life when it’s up to us to deliver a tough message.  We know what needs to be said…and that it’s up to us to speak.

The key is how we say it.  How does our intention, our desire, and our tone convey a tough message?  The answer is found in the second reading: Love.  The love of Christ guides and directs every aspect of our lives – including those times when we are called to speak about a difficult topic.

This notion of “what” and “how” shows up repeatedly in the spiritual life:

  • What refers to the issue, content, and “facts” of a situation or circumstance
  • How refers to the manner in which it is conveyed – the way we do something

Our faith calls us to confront the reality of life, particularly when things are tough.  We need not fear engaging a difficult situation; rather, we draw on the love of Christ to guide us – both in what we say and how we say it – trusting that the Lord will provide us with the grace we need.

Let’s face it:  Life is tough!  But when the going gets tough, the tough get going…guided by God’s love.

 


14th Sunday of the Year – Overcoming Obstacles – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 14th Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

Sometimes there are obstacles that are keeping us from saying what needs to be said…or hearing what needs to be heard.  What’s more, before we can face the challenges of speaking or listening we might be better served by naming the obstacles in our lives.  And once we can give it a name, we can bring it before the Lord for the help and strength we need to pull these obstacles out of the way.


14th Sunday of the Year – Hearing the Prophets Among Us

Communication barriers

Study:  Reflect on a time when someone told you a truth that you did not want to hear.  What caused you to want to resist?

Pray:  Are there any tough decisions or actions facing you right now?  Ask the Lord for guidance, courage, and strength.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life who needs to hear an important message?  How can you help them receive it?

14th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Have you ever been angry because someone told you what you needed to hear when you didn’t want to hear it?  Who wants to be told they’re wrong, that something needs to change, that they have work to do?  In our best moments we can accept constructive criticism with a tentative openness, but if we are vulnerable, defensive, doubtful, or in any sort of tough spot – we often will dig our heels in and resist.

Perhaps it’s just plain human nature – our free will comes with a liberty to choose any number of possibilities.  Sometimes, however, we simply do not choose what is best…

This is the situation which confronts Ezekiel and Jesus in the Scriptures today.  Sent to proclaim a message, they both encounter resistance.  Ezekiel is told by God that the people will not want to hear him; Jesus is rejected by the community that knows his extended family.  While both will fulfill their mission, the response of those addressed remains one of resistance.

Sound familiar?  Consider the times in life when you’ve resisted a message.  What was the issue?  Ego?  A relationship?  Personal pride?  Control?  Sometimes the best thing we can do is discover what are the obstacles that keep us from the goodness of God.

Here’s a simple test: when was the last time you turned away from something important?  What held you back?  What was the road block that kept you from joy?  Remember, the Lord longs to fill us with love; our job is to be open and receptive to what needs to be heard.

Maybe today we haul the obstacle out of the way…so God’s grace can transform and renew our hearts.