Tag Archives: Resurrection

Daily Mass: God transforms us with Easter glory. Catholic Inspiration

Both Peter and Mary Magdalene reveal how Christ’s resurrection transforms our human weakness and empowers us for service in the world.  We, too, are called to receive the grace of Easter into our hearts as the Lord takes the gift of our lives and equips us to proclaim the Good News.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


2nd Sunday of Easter: The power of the Resurrection.

Easter Banner 2010 copy

Study: Reflect on your life right now.  What needs to be touched by the power of Christ’s resurrection?

Pray: The resurrection of Jesus brings power and hope to all believers; pray for God’s grace in your daily life.

Serve:  How might the Good News of Christ shine through your words and actions today?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Easter

I continually marvel at the power of the Resurrection of Christ in the lives of the apostles.  They are different people!  Standing in the light of Easter, touching and speaking to the Risen Lord, they can’t go back – their lives are forever changed and empowered to proclaim Good News.  Check this out:

  • 1st Reading – Signs & Wonders performed by the Apostles
  • Psalm Response – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”
  • 2nd Reading – John proclaims the Good News of Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus appears to his Disciples, and Thomas moves from doubt to belief

Note this: it wasn’t the miracles, healings, or teachings of Jesus that brought about this change.  It was the resurrection; all these people who formerly followed Jesus are transformed into a new creation by the experience of the Easter.  They are freed from fear and no longer bound by sin.  Their lives are shot through with grace, mercy, peace, and joy.

I want this.  I want this for every person I meet, for every person I know, and certainly for my own heart.  To bask in the light of Christ raised from the dead – to know that God has built a bridge that covers the gap from our weakness to the glory of Heaven – is to live with a power and conviction that brings the Lord’s life to a world in need of Good News.

So today:

  1. What needs to be healed in our lives?
  2. How might we proclaim Good News to others?
  3. How might we foster our faith in the Lord…and witness Easter joy?

Our faith is not a history lesson.  Christ’s resurrection continues to bring change and renewal to our lives today.  May we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Easter glory to shine in our lives.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

Note: This post was first published on March 29, 2016.


Easter Day! Catholic Inspiration

Easter Lily

Beyond the agony of the Cross and the sorrow of the Tomb on that first day of the week the message was proclaimed:  He’s Alive!

And everything changes.  This group of disciples – bound by fear and selfishness – are transformed with a new strength and conviction.  Their encounter with the Risen Lord will empower them to face the obstacles of this world with joy and hope.  They have seen the risen Christ…what is there to fear?  They have embraced the one who has conquered sin and death – there is NOTHING that can shake their confidence in the light of Easter morning.

This same strength comes to us.  Like the first disciples, we can turn to Jesus and allow his saving grace to renew us with a strength far beyond our own.  We can claim a hope that sustains us in the midst of our challenges and struggles.  The Easter sunrise brings light to the darkest corners of our hearts.

What in our lives needs to be touched by Jesus Christ?  We are invited to boldly come forward, receive his resurrection strength, and face whatever this world presents with confidence: the victory of Christ enlivens us to travel through life with the conviction that the grace he gave his disciples continues in our hearts today.

May this Easter season be a time of transformation and renewal; a time where we embrace the gift of our lives with a new freedom and conviction.  In the light of this Easter, may we follow the one who leads us from sin and death to the abundance of life…in this world, and the world to come.

Happy Easter!

Mass Readings – Easter Day

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


Holy Week Preparations

Holy Week

Pastoral Note: This post was originally given on April 12, 2014.  I share it once again in the hope that all of us will enter more fully into the gift of this sacred time.  Fr. Andrew

Study:  Recall a time in your life when you experienced death and new life.  Where did you find the strength?  Who helped you through this time?

Pray:  Spend some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus this week.  Read Mark 14-16; Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; and John 18-21.  Take in as many prayer opportunities as possible in your parish.

Serve:  Who in your life is dealing with life and death issues right now?  How might you be present to them to offer help, comfort, or strength?

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We enter into the heart of the Christian mystery: Holy Week offers us a time to pause, reflect, and pray as the Church ponders on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This mystery, often called the Paschal Mystery, recalls us to the saving work of the Lord.  His death frees of from the burdens of sin and death, and his resurrection opens for us the path to eternal life.  This mystery is profoundly experienced over the Triduum – the 3 Great Days:

  • Holy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday – the Passion of the Christ
  • Easter (Vigil/Day) – the Resurrection of the Lord

On Holy Thursday we find ourselves in Jerusalem, eating with the disciples at the Lord’s Supper and feeling awkward as he washes their feet – wondering how we would react if he did that for us.  We might identify with Peter or Judas – especially when we consider the times we have willingly betrayed or turned our back on the Lord.

On Good Friday we experience the physical pain, emotional abandonment, and personal humiliation on the path to Calvary (also called Golgotha or Skull Place) and look on with horror at the cruel death of Jesus.  We might also consider the times we have helped others – as Simon did when he was forced to carry the Cross of Christ.    And then we stand in profound sorrow with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, helpless as the innocent suffer injustice.

On Easter we wait in vigil and rise early in the morning with Mary Magdalen, only to find to our wonder and joy that the tomb is empty:  Christ is alive!  Our world, like that of the apostles, is changed forever as we experience new hope and life.

A word to the wise – we get out of Holy Week what we put into it.  Here are some simple ways for an incredible experience.

  • Make church services a top priority – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Vigil or Day).
  • Take time to read and reflect on the scriptures (see at the top under “Pray”).
  • Make Holy Thursday an opportunity to offer a special act of service or kindness to another.
  • Make Good Friday fasting extra special with a gift to a particular charity that helps the poor.
  • Make Easter a time of gratitude – take a quiet moment to count our blessings and thank the Lord.
  • Find some time throughout this week to tell the people in our lives how much we love them.

May this be a time for all of us to grow closer to the Lord and one another.

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


3rd Sunday of Easter: Repentance in the light of the resurrection.

Study: Reflect on a time when you willingly took on a hard task with joy.  What gave you courage to begin?

Pray: Is there something that needs to change in your life?  Pray for the grace to begin again.

Serve:  How can you help someone make a change for the good?

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Easter

The season of Easter offers us many opportunities to celebrate and rejoice.  After all, the light of the Risen Lord brings hope, courage and strength to all who call upon the name of Jesus.  Take a look at a quick overview of these readings:

  • 1st Reading – “Repent…and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
  • Psalm – “Lord, let your face shine on us.”
  • 2nd Reading – Jesus Christ is our Advocate with the Father
  • Gospel – Jesus appears to the disciples, explains the Scriptures, and teaches them to proclaim repentance in His name

Why all this talk of repentance?  First and foremost, because we need it.  The Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ brings light to the darkness of death and sin.  Easter does not downplay the call to turn away from sin; rather, we have renewed hope that in Christ’s victory on the Cross we are empowered to face our weaknesses with God’s grace.

The light of the resurrection shines in our hearts…and sometimes we need to clean out what’s in there.  We might not like it, might try to avoid it, but in the end we stand before the Lord and acknowledge that all that we have is sustained by His love.

Here’s my point: this holy season offers us a chance to draw near to Christ – who knows us better than we know ourselves – and receive his mercy for our sins.  All that’s required is our acknowledgement for what we’ve done, make a change to live for the Lord and then receive the forgiveness that flows from the Sacred Heart.

Repentance is a lifetime work.  There will be days when we follow the Lord with joy and conviction; then again there will be days when we fail miserably.  What matters most is that we continue to seek Jesus with all our heart and strive to live our lives in the light of his resurrection.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Boldness and Belief. Catholic Inspiration

As the disciples moved from doubt to bold belief, we see the process that often accompanies our transformation in faith.  We need time to understand, integrate and apply God’s grace to our lives; may this Easter season help us to proclaim the Good News with boldness!

Mass Readings – Saturday of the Octave of Easter

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: You are witnesses of these things. Catholic Inspiration

After the resurrection Jesus appears to the Apostles and explains how he has fulfilled the prophecies within the Sacred Scriptures; that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, die and be raised on the third day.  He concludes this passage with a powerful exhortation, “You are witnesses of these things.”  Our faith was built on the witness of others, and our lived example of faith helps others encounter the Risen Lord today.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the Octave of Easter

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts