Turn the Other Cheek

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Sermon on the includes such tough commands as love your enemies, turn the other cheek, and judge not.  How are we to understand such things and put them into practice?  The examples of Jesus & St. Thomas More provide us with insight here. The Mass readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — First Samuel 26:2, […]

Is it Wrong to be Happy?

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Beatitudes appear in the gospels of Matthew and Luke as part of the Sermon on the Mount. But what actually is the nature of true happiness?  Must we be miserable in this world to be happy in the next?  Faith and hope bring the lasting joy that is the essence of true blessedness. The Mass readings for the Sixth […]

High Adventure or Cautious Mediocrity

Photography © by Andy Coan

Discipleship is about a call to embark upon an epic adventure, not about preserving the safe, comfortable and predictable mediocrity of business as usual.  The disciples left behind everything to follow Jesus, embarking upon a road that would lead them through danger to glory. The Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8; Psalms […]

Why We Stone Prophets

Photography © by Andy Coan

The prophets of the Old and New Testaments show us that sometimes love demand that we speak truth that people don’t want to hear.  Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern; Jesus was run out of Nazareth. This shows us that God’s messengers shouldn’t expect honor, respect, and popularity. The Mass readings for the fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) […]

Catholics and Bible Study

Photography © by Andy Coan

Bible study and prayer with Scripture is absolutely necessary for Catholics.  As St. Jerome said, ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15; First Corinthians 12:12-30 or 12; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21. There is a myth that we must lay to […]

Sign of Transformation

Photography © by Andy Coan

Everyone knows the story of the first of the Lord’s “signs” — how Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana at the request of Mary, his mother. But there is more to the story than at first meets the eye. The Mass readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalms 96:1-2, […]

Baptism of the Lord and Mission

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Jordan closes the Christmas Season. This reflection on the scripture readings for the feast also provide us insight into the sacraments of baptism and Confirmation and give us food for meditation as we say the first luminous mystery of the rosary. The Mass readings for the Feast of […]

Epiphany of the Heart

Photography © by Andy Coan

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Epiphany (Years ABC) — Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12. Gold may have been one of the original Christmas presents, but don’t be mistaken—there was never a golden age in the church free of controversy and struggle. Galatians and Acts tell us about a particularly […]

The Holy Family and Piety in the Twenty-First Century

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Feast of the Holy Family challenges us to grow in the virtues of piety, honor, patience, and forbearance.   And to learn to laugh together. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Feast of the Holy Family (Year C) — Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:41-52. The Passion of the Christ was the most intense movie […]

Mary as a Model of Faith

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Gospel of Luke presents Mary, mother of Jesus,  as the model of faith, showing us what faith must include to be authentic and effective.  And imitating Mary’s virtue is key to an authentic Marian devotion and an adequate understanding of the deepest meaning of the Immaculate Conception — that it’s all about grace. Reflection on the Mass readings for […]