Tag Archives: Suffering

Daily Mass: To clearly see the Cross. Catholic Inspiration

As Jesus talks about his approaching Passion on the Cross, the disciples fail to understand his meaning. Their fear and hesitation remind us to be aware of the sacrifices we will make for the Lord.

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

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The Passion of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

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John the Baptist came to point others to Jesus, and his death inspires us to face our sufferings with fervent hope in Christ through His victory on the Cross.

Mass Readings – The Passion of St. John the Baptist

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


22nd Sunday of the Year: Facing the pain of suffering

Station - Jesus in Crucified

Study:  Recall a moment when you encountered personal suffering.  What gave you strength to continue?

Pray:  Many people are suffering right now in our world.  Pray for those in need and join your heart with them to God.

Serve:  Where is the suffering face of Christ in your life right now?  How can you help another who is in need?

22nd Sunday of the Year Readings

Some of the toughest questions I routinely encounter as a priest occur during sickness or untimely death. In the midst of great suffering and pain, a loved one comes up to me and asks, “Father, why did this have to happen? Why do they have to suffer? Why doesn’t God take the pain away?”

In the anguish of the moment no answer is adequate; the pain hurts too much, and seeing another suffering is often too hard to describe with words. Our hearts feel more than we can say, and the emotions overflow the limits of our soul.

We encounter suffering in many ways: at the graves of loved ones; in hospital and nursing home rooms; at the bedsides and wheel chairs of homebound; through news stories of tragedy; and in quiet moments all alone. Many of us are familiar with the grief and pain of suffering, and we are quick to recognize its presence in those around us.

In the Old Testament and Gospel readings today we encounter suffering. Both Jeremiah and Jesus raise two crucial points:
1. The pain is real.
2. The suffering is part of their witness.

First, neither Jeremiah nor Jesus deny that suffering is part of their lives. They do not hide from it, repress it, pretend it is not there, or run away out of fear. Their suffering is real; they acknowledge the truth of what they must face and confront it.

Second, the pain they face is part of their ministry. Simply put, they suffer because they have remained faithful to God. Jeremiah burns with the fire of a prophet; to remain silent would destroy him and deny God’s word. Jesus knows that only through his death and resurrection can he fulfill his Father’s will; to run away would deny God’s plan for salvation history.

From the example of Jeremiah and Jesus we discover that our suffering is part of a much larger picture. We know that suffering is an element of life, mixed with the joy and beauty we encounter daily. We know that it will come in difficult and sometimes unexpected ways.

Yet God is present in our suffering. Just as Jeremiah and Jesus knew that God was present with them, so too we can see that the Lord is near, giving us strength and hope. Thus suffering may be a way that we draw closer to God, mindful of our need.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on August 26, 2014.


Daily Mass: Our task will not be easy, but God will give us strength! Catholic Inspiration

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The Lord speaks with great clarity that persecution and hardship will accompany us as disciples, even as we trust in the Lord for the grace and strength to overcome them.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 14th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: St. Paul participates in the Cross of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

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St. Paul’s suffering in Philippi becomes an opportunity to witness his faith in Jesus. This experience of the Cross of Christ brings life-giving joy, and it shows us the path that we often find in our own lives as well.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: St. Peter responds to opposition. Catholic Inspiration

St. Peter’s bold response in faith to the opposition reveals an example we can follow as we face the challenges before us today.

Mass Readings – Friday in the Octave of Easter

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Walking through the fiery furnace with the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

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Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked in the fiery furnace with a fourth person who looked like a Son of God. During those times in our lives when we have been put to the test, may we trust that Christ walks with us as well.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: God's grace gives us hope. Catholic Inspiration

The Scripture readings today all reference human hardship: suffering, battle and illness. Yet through it all we have hope as we see how God gives us the grace we need to overcome these challenges every time we turn to Christ.

Mass Readings – Monday of the 4th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The path that leads to the Cross. Catholic Inspiration

As Jesus speaks to the disciples about his suffering and death on the Cross, he must also contend with the pettiness that often accompanies our human nature…teaching how we offer our lives in service of one another.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


16th Sunday of the Year: How the Lord meets us

Study:  Consider a profound moment when you felt God’s presence.  What made this possible?

Pray:  Are you feeling drawn toward a certain activity or task?  Ask the Lord for guidance.

Serve:  What types of service do you find most rewarding?  How does helping others lead you to Christ?

Mass Readings – 16th Sunday of the Year

Here’s a quick overview of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – Abraham recognizes the Lord in the three visitors
  • Psalm – “who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord”
  • 2nd Reading – Through suffering we participate in the life of Christ
  • Gospel – Martha & Mary

One way to reflect on these verses is to see how the Lord meets us in the pattern of daily life.  Consider:

  1. Hospitality – serving others
  2. Justice – standing up for what is right, true, and good
  3. Suffering – caring for those in need, and bearing our own pain as well
  4. Listening – pausing from our labors to hear the Lord in our lives

We understand that our relationship with God touches multiple aspects of our lives, such as prayer, sacraments, relationships, work, and recreation.  The invitation today encourages us to see with our hearts how the Lord is present to us in the current moment.

Does it mean that we serve with a joyful heart?  That we swiftly respond to injustice?  That we compassionately care for others?  That we stop and “smell the roses” in moments of rest & renewal, beauty & blessing?  In all these ways we are led back to the Lord, recognizing the gifts God gives us with a grateful heart.

How is God present in your life right now?  May our response bring us closer to Christ and one another.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on July 11, 2016.