Anatomy of Envy

Photography © by Andy Coan

Envy, one of the seven deadly sins, is different from mere jealousy – it is darker and much more dangerous.  Yet its cunning can be – and has been – defeated. The readings for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Wisdom 2:17-20; Psalms 54:3-4, 5, 6-8; James 3:16–4:3; Mark 9:30-37. Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of […]

Amen, Amen: James, Peter and Rock-Solid Faith

Photography © by Andy Coan

The word amen is familiar to all.  But few know its origins and its true meaning, which actually strikes at the very essence of what it means to believe and have rock-solid faith. The readings for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalms 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35. Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most […]

The Motivation for the Miracles

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Ephphatha!” The miracles of Jesus, particularly the story of Jesus’ healing of the deaf – mute in the Gospel of Mark, raise a big questions — did Jesus Christ truly work miracles and if so, was his motivation compassion or glory? The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; James 2:1-5; Mark […]

Does Scripture Bash Tradition?

Photography © by Andy Coan

What does the term Tradition really mean? Is it opposed to the Bible? The sola scriptura principle of the Protestant Reformation assumed it was — here we examine this assumption in the light of a few key scriptures. The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark […]

Intentional Discipleship Renewed Daily

Photography © by Andy Coan

Christians are called to be not just believers, but intentional disciples who make a conscious decision to follow Jesus and him alone.  But discipleship can’t be a one-time decision.  As in a marriage, the commitment must be renewed daily. This post is on Christian discipleship as an intentional exclusive commitment similar to marriage which disciples renew every day.  It  reflects […]

Come to the Banquet Table

Photography © by Andy Coan

Some do the minimum in order to survive.  But we are called to seize every opportunity so we can truly thrive.  Proverbs says Wisdom has set a table for us.  Christ, Divine Wisdom incarnate, actually feeds us with two abundant tables – the feast of the Word and the Sacrament. This post centers on the abundant life brought by the […]

Elijah’s Bread

Photography © by Andy Coan

Somehow, we can all relate to the discouragement and exhaustion of Elijah.  So we need to learn from the solution proposed by God to revitalize and energize him for the long journey he needed to make and the important work he was going to do.  The bread God provided is a figure of a more wondrous bread that is available […]

You Are What You Eat

Photography © by Andy Coan

The only miracle recorded in all four gospels was the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Could this be to emphasize the central importance of the spiritual nutrition that Jesus, the Bread of Life, provides for us through the Eucharist? And could it be that a diet of junk food rather than the eucharistic banquet might just be a factor […]

Hidden Meaning of Loaves & Fishes

Photography © by Andy Coan

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is the only miracle of Jesus recorded in all four gospels.  John calls it a sign, a symbolic event with many hidden meanings.  It points beyond itself back to Old Testament persons and events and forward to the Eucharist. Finding hidden meanings. Unraveling mysteries. Deciphering symbols. The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan […]

Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds

Photography © by Andy Coan

The story of the feeding of the 5,000 teaches us much about leadership in the Kingdom of God.  The King is a shepherd who puts the sheep’s needs before his own, and feeds them with truth, the nourishment they need most. Lots of perks come with being the boss, whether it be of a church, company, or nation. You get to […]