Scripture Reflections

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

Six Keys to help you Surrender your Life to Jesus Christ

At the center of Mark’s Gospel, the Transfiguration of Christ (Mark 9:2-10) stands prominently as an encouragement along the walk from Baptism to Resurrection; a walk that must pass through the Cross. Place yourself in the position of the Apostles—they have journeyed with Jesus since he began his public ministry and I am sure that they could not have been […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Sacrifice of Isaac

Everyone knows that Lent is about sacrifice. So it’s fitting that the first reading in the second Sunday of Lent recalls one of the most famous sacrifices of all time. Here’s the background. Abraham really only desires one thing—a son who will lead to descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky. The only problem is that his wife […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Like the Waters of the Flood…

In today’s fuzzy moral landscape, it is quite unpopular to even speak of sin, never mind condemn it. It’s even more politically incorrect to talk about God taking stern action against sin and those who promote it. But that is exactly what the story of Noah and the flood is all about, as we are reminded by the scripture readings […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Lessons from the Leper

Many Catholics are confused about suffering. Some writers extol its surpassing value. But does that mean that we should look for suffering? Or, if suffering should come our way, that it would be unspiritual to seek relief from it? The story of Jesus and the leper in Mark 1:40-45 provides us with a case study on the subject. In biblical […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

It is Good News… Preach it!

The Bible is not just for Churches and Synagogues. Portions of it are read as literature; even in secular university classrooms. Invariably, when you look at the syllabus of such courses, you find Job. It’s not hard to see why. Job poignantly expresses what all human beings experience at one time or another—the feeling that life is a burden, that […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Candlemas — The Light to the Nations

I’ve led groups of pilgrims to Jerusalem.  One time, as we stood at the foot of the Temple Mount and remembered the Presentation of Jesus, several people had questions.  There were questions about the redemption of the first-born son.  About the rite of purification after childbirth.  About how to put Matthew and Luke together in terms of chronology and geography—Bethlehem, […]

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

Conversion Stories from the Bible

Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the form of compilations of short stories found in books such as Surprised by the Truth and more detailed accounts such as found in Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. But no book contains more […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Visible… and the Invisible

I’ve read many term papers in my day. Most of them are no more than a patchwork of quotes.  That’s because college students are smart enough to know that they really can’t say much on their own authority—to make their case, they have to lean on the authority of others more learned than themselves. That’s exactly how the scribes and […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

What is Authentic Detachment from the World?

Peter and Andrew were businessmen. So were their neighbors, James and John. They tried to wring a living out of the Sea of Galilee, and it probably took nearly all of the time and energy that they had. So it would have been easy to pass on the chance to hear some new prophet proclaim that the Kingdom of God […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Called by God

When I was growing up, we were urged to pray for vocations. That meant to pray for more priests and nuns. After all, they were the ones especially called by God. The rest of us had to figure out for ourselves what to do with our lives, what school to go to, who to marry, what job to get. This […]