Tag Archives: Power

29th Sunday of the Year: Heaven & Earth.

Study:  Name a role model who lives a principled life.  What is it that they say or do that inspires you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the strength to make the right choice, especially over a difficult or challenging situation.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life who looks to you for guidance and example?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 29th Sunday of the Year

The first reading, psalm, and gospel readings today touch upon the notions of earthly and heavenly governance. Part of our human condition requires that we recognize our need for others; by working with people we unite in strength, and by serving the Lord we understand our values and priorities in life.

Let’s start first with human governance. In the first reading from Isaiah we hear how God has anointed Cyrus – the pagan king – as the instrument for Israel’s redemption. While the king does not know the Law or the Prophets, he gives the people of Israel a new opportunity by conquering their enemy, Babylon.

This distinction between the pagan King and the people’s faith is a helpful guide for us today. While Christianity has made countless contributions to Western Civilization, we find ourselves living in a culture that has many non-Christian influences. Some are good, some neutral, and others are just plain bad. Yet Isaiah teaches us today to look for what is good and useful, recognizing that God can work through a variety of instruments.

Since we live in this world filled with all these different elements, we are constantly challenged to discern and choose those options which are good, holy, and true. It is not always easy! Indeed, we can find ourselves confronted by issues that push and stretch us in a variety of ways.

So how do we decide? The gospel today offers a gem from the Lord:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
And to God what belongs to God.”
Matthew 22:21

We have duties and obligations as members of both heaven and earth. In the world we have our responsibilities – voting and jury duty, abiding civil laws, serving in local organizations, and actively living as good citizens. And as a people of faith, we are bound to follow the teaching and commandments of Jesus Christ.

So what do we do in a conflict? In the end we remember that all creation is the Lord’s. When pushed to extreme, we follow Christ. God made this world, and one day we will be called out of it. May our example show to others our desire to be good citizens – both on earth, and in heaven.

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Note: This blog was originally published on October 13, 2014. 


Daily Mass: Christ empowers us! Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 26th Week of the Year (Our Lady of the Rosary)

The 72 disciples return to Jesus, rejoicing at how their lives – empowered by Christ – have made a difference.  Their “yes” to the Lord inspires us to do the same, offering our lives so that Christ can work through us in the world today.

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Daily Mass: Embracing the Cross. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 25th Week of the Year

Jesus announces that he will be handed over, and the disciples are afraid to ask him any questions about it.  The fact is, the Lord embraces the Cross to free us from our sins…inspiring us not to be afraid but to draw near Him in faith.

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Daily Mass: Trust God…and get to work. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 25th Week of the Year (St. Vincent de Paul)

Jesus gives his Apostles power and authority, and then he invites them to trust in God alone.  It’s a good reminder for us to claim the blessings that we’ve been given as we put the Lord first in our lives.

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Daily Mass: The authority and power of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 22nd Week of the Year

With authority and power Jesus teaches and drives out a demon in the Gospel today.  As his followers, may we call upon the Lord for the guidance and courage we need to face our challenges with his grace.

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Photo Credit: Son of God, 2014.


21st Sunday of the Year: What keys do you have?

Keys

Study:  Recall a time when you were entrusted with power.  How did you use it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance over the things and situations in your control right now.

Serve:  How can you help someone who is struggling with a decision of leadership?  How can you offer solid support?

Mass Readings – 21st Sunday of the Year

Take a look at the keys in your pocket.  As you hold them, think about what they do:

  • The doors they open
  • The cars they open & start
  • The authority and power they reveal

Keys allow us access and empower us with authority.  Keys give us control over our physical world and they help us to use resources wisely and well.  They are also symbols that speak to identity and purpose – just think about what happens when our keys are lost or taken from us….

In the first reading and the Gospel today we discover the power of God’s keys:

  • Key of the House of David
  • Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

These promises to Eliakim and St. Peter are mighty – they will receive the power, authority,and  responsibility from God lead and guide.  Consider these three points:

Power: they receive the strength and ability to carry out the work entrusted to them.  Power gives them resources and skills to accomplish great things.  Without power they are weak; with God’s power they can do more than they ever dreamed possible.

Authority: these keys are a sign of leadership and respect.  The keys they possess allow them to direct and command others.  Those who hold the keys are followed; those who hold the keys stand before us and provide wisdom, insight, and vision.

Responsibility: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48b)  With great power comes great responsibility, and those who have been given strength and ability are required to use it with wisdom.  Indeed, having the keys of Authority are a burden to demonstrate transparency, accountability, and trust.

Again, look at the keys in your pocket.  How do we use them?  Today we might consider the gifts and talents God has given us: we have an opportunity at this moment to exercise our own power and authority with God’s guidance, knowing that one day the Lord will seek an accounting with what we have done.

May our own keys inspire us to live with conviction and direction – using the resources we have received with the insights offered by our faith in Jesus Christ.  The Lord is the source of all keys, may we call upon him to help us use them!

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Note: This post was originally published on August 18, 2014.


The Transfiguration of the Lord

Study: Consider a time when you had an experience of God’s glory and majesty.  What did it feel like?

Pray:  Are you struggling with a tough decision right now?  As the Lord for the power and conviction to carry it out.

Serve:  How might you help another experience God’s power today?

Mass Readings – The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

The readings this week all reveal the majesty and power of God.  Take a look:

  • 1st Reading – Daniel has a vision of God’s glory
  • Psalm – “The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.”
  • 2nd Reading – Jesus receives honor and glory from the Father
  • Gospel – Peter, James and John see the Lord transfigured before their eyes

It is a good thing to reflect on the glory and power of God; after all, as Sons and Daughters of God we will all one day stand before the Lord.  Having died and rose for the forgiveness of our sins, Jesus Christ will gaze into our eyes with understanding, compassion and….power.

Let’s be clear: He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is the one before whom all honor and glory and praise is due.  He is the one before whom we will bend our knee and bow our head.

This awesome and mighty image reveals the authority Jesus has in heaven, on earth and under the earth.  He came to our world in our need and restored what was lost through temptation and sin by the wood of His Cross.

The glory of God that we hear about is not meant to drive us away from God out of fear, but rather to inspire us that the Lord’s victory is complete.  The question for us today is simple: Will we accept the grace of Jesus Christ and allow his glory to transfigure our hearts?

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts