Scripture Reflections

"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin

Do not be Afraid to Touch Jesus

The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) comes from Mark 5:21-43 and consists of the accounts of two miracles Jesus performed. Jairus, a synagogue official desperate to save the life of his daughter, seeks out Jesus. On His way with Jairus to restore his daughter, Jesus encounters the woman with a hemorrhage. Mark frequently interrupts one story to […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Enlightenment and the Bible

In the days when states were still “the colonies” and men wore powdered wigs, a new way of thinking captured the intelligentsia of the western world.  “The miracle stories in the Bible and the lives of the saints may be quaint, entertaining, and even have symbolic meaning.  But certainly we should not take them literally!  Oh, God exists, for sure.  […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Who can this Jesus be?

Have you ever had a teacher who drones on and on? Fact upon fact, argument upon argument. The teacher’s mistake is that he or she is providing a long and complicated answer to a question that hadn’t even occurred to you, a question you’re not really curious about. So the next day, you’ve forgotten the facts, the argument, and even […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Fatherhood

About a hundred years ago this month, Father’s Day was first observed in Spokane, Washington.  This June, the United States and fifty-five other countries around the world will honor the roles fathers play in the family and the community.  This modern secular holiday invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Corpus Christi

The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely, that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to take? If so, you shouldnt be surprised.  When Jesus spoke about […]

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What You Should Know about the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity

We are able to know certain eternal truths without the light of faith. According the Church for example, the greatest truth of all—God exists—is knowable from the light of human reason and the works of creation alone. But there exist truths that we cannot discover until God reveals them to us. The doctrine of the Trinity is an example of such a […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Why the Trinity Matters

Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth.  Most honor him as a great moral teacher.  Many even confess him as Savior.  But the Incarnation of the Eternal God?  Second person of the Holy Trinity?  God can’t be one and three at the same time.  Such a notion is at worst illogical, at […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Difference that the Spirit Makes

As a teenager, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.  We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their […]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

The Difference the Ascension of the Lord Makes in Our Lives

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. During […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Lord has given us our marching orders!

The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat. It was clear what Good Friday did for me. And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable. But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity. It is love that looks away from itself to another and […]