Tag Archives: Response to God

2nd Sunday of the Year: Our response to God’s call.

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Study:  Reflect on an experience in life when you have been called to do something.  Who called you?  What did it feel like?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance to discern how to follow Jesus Christ today.

Serve:  Are there people in your life who are experiencing a calling?  How can you help them discover their path?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of the Year

Have you ever had moments in life when you wish the answers were written in the sky with letters that were clear and easy to read?  Where there is no doubt what to do; no hesitation that a certain choice is the best; no worry that something has been missed?  The question surfaces frequently:  How do we know the Lord’s call for our lives?

In the Scriptures today we have two examples where people are being called by God:

  • The call of Samuel in the temple of the Lord
  • The call of two of John the Baptist’s disciples by Jesus

While each story presents a perspective that is unique, both have some points that are worth noting:

  1. God takes the initiative.  It is the Lord who begins the encounter, speaking Samuel’s name or asking the disciples, “What are you looking for?”
  2. There is a human response.  Samuel calls out, “Here I am” while the disciples begin a conversation, “Where are you staying?”
  3. A call to action.  Both Samuel and disciples do something.  Samuel reaches out to Eli; the disciples stay with Jesus and one of them (Andrew) brings his brother Peter to meet the Lord.

The same three steps continue today.  God keeps inviting!  The Lord’s grace ceaselessly pours out upon the earth, inviting and empowering us to draw closer to God and one another.  Everything we have comes from the Lord, who takes the initiative to reach out to us in love.

Our response – both in word and deed – completes this initiative.  Accepting the Lord’s call we grow in wisdom and strength, developing our God-given gifts for service in the world.  As we continue to say yes to the Lord’s guidance we become more and more alive, become a conduit through which Christ’s mission touches the hearts and lives of others.

So how and where does the Lord speak today?  Where do we look for the call?  A few starting thoughts…

  • Start by reading the Scriptures! (It is the Word of God, after all.)  I recommend first digging into the Gospels.
  • Pray everyday.  It doesn’t have to be very long, but it does have to be real and from your heart.  Take a couple of minutes to count your blessings, make your petitions, and close with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Reach out to people of faith for fellowship & strength.  (Remember: united we stand!)
  • Go to Confession.  It’s a powerful way to begin again with God’s help.
  • Go to Mass weekly.  (Let’s see: get a Sacrament; hear God’s Word; pray alone and with others; fellowship; with a little peace & silence…not a bad gig.)

May we say yes to the Lord’s call in our lives, responding with full and open hearts, serving one another with the strength of Jesus Christ!

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Note: This post was originally published on January 12, 2015.


4th Sunday of Advent: The angel Gabriel and Mary. Catholic Inspiration

Study: Recall a time when you had to make an important choice.  What helped you?

Pray: Do you have a critical decision to make right now?  Ask the Lord for guidance.

Serve: How can you assist someone who is facing a crucial situation?  How can you offer support?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Advent

We often think of angels as something out of a Precious Moments collection: cute, sweet and gentle.  Yet the image we see in the Scriptures is often startling and overwhelming…after all, angels are always saying “Be not afraid!” when they show up.

Gabriel greets Mary and reveals the astonishing news of God’s plan for our salvation: Mary will be the mother of God as the Holy Spirit conceives a child in her womb.  This is how the savior of humanity will enter into the world, taking on our likeness in all things but sin.

But note this: Mary had to respond.  Although she was specifically chosen by God and prepared to become the mother of the messiah, she still had to give her consent.  Her freedom to choose was essential in the plan of salvation.  Why?  Because the Almighty has not created us to be robotic slaves but free souls, souls that seek to grow in wisdom, courage and love.

God initiates the action, but he does not force us to act.  Rather, the Lord invites us to respond so that we will grow, becoming more and more the persons we were meant to be.

This Christmas consider what the Lord is inviting you to do.  Reflect on how God is working in your life and how you are being prompted to develop your life in new and powerful ways.  Say yes to Jesus Christ, and see how the Lord will change your heart to become like his.

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Annunciation, Bottecelli, 1481, Uffizzi, Florence, Italy.


Daily Mass: The blessing and burden of faith. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

The first reading and the Gospel are at opposite ends of how people respond to the call of faith.  In the first reading Peter’s prayer in the name of Jesus restores a dead woman, Tabitha, to life; in the Gospel the invitation of the Lord to eat his body and drink his blood causes many to walk away.  It begs the question: How’s your faith?  Is it vibrant or feeble, building others up or filled with doubts?

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts