Scripture Reflections

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Do People See Jesus When They Look At You?

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Christ the King and the Final Judgment

On the final Sunday in the liturgical year, it is time to remember things that we’d prefer to forget.  For starters, we recall that there is an infinite qualitative difference between us and God.  He is immortal and infinite.  We are not.  Each one of us will come to our individual end.  But so will our society, our world, even […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Parable of the Talents

I’ve seen it time and time again.  Someone decides to seek a better paying job, or pursue and investment strategy, or launch a new business.  Invariably some pious person in the parish objects that maybe this is too worldly, that it will be a distraction from Church and family priorities, that one should be satisfied with what one has. You’d […]

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in LateranoArchbasilica of St. John Lateran Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano

Who Needs Church Buildings?

Editor’s Note: November 9th is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. As a rebellious teenager, I thought that Catholics should stop wasting their money on expensive churches.  We ought to sell them all and buy food for the poor, I argued. Funny thing.  Jesus, who cared much for the poor, did not have this attitude.  […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Radical Rabbi and the Great Commandment

They are at it again. In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus’ opponents enlist a lawyer to do what lawyers do best—ask a question that puts a person on the hot seat. “Which commandment of the law is the greatest?” (Matthew 22:34-40). If the law consisted in only the Ten Commandments, this would be tough enough. But the written “Torah” included many […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Render to Caesar

Despite their flattering words, they were trying to trap him, to force him into a no win situation. Consider the circumstances. They are living under the iron boot of a brutal empire which filled the earth with its idolatry. Patriotic Jews longed to throw off the tyrants’ yoke. They prayed for an anointed king who would free them from the […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Don’t let this Sneaky Sin Keep You from the Party

At age 16, life was about rock ‘n roll. If my own band was not performing on Saturday night, I was out in the audience watching another band. It would have never occurred to me to spend my Saturday nights at a Catholic conference or retreat. True, no matter how late I was out, I’d never miss Sunday Mass. But […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

True Peace and Security

A few years ago, I toured northern England. There, stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a massive wall. Constructed of stone, it was built to last, since it marked the northernmost boundary of the greatest empire the world had ever known. Soldiers from every corner of the world were garrisoned there, and excavations tell […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Five Keys to Living an Integrated Life

Have you ever played a part, taking on a role of someone else? Some might think back to an occasion when they participated in a school play. Others might think about their roles in business or sales, or even within the home as parents when they might have employed the “good cop / bad cop” approach to resolve a problem. […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Keeping Promises

There will never be a shortage of words. Words are plentiful because talk is cheap. It’s easy to make a promise. Keeping a promise is an entirely different matter, as this Sunday’s gospel makes abundantly clear. There are over a billion people on the planet who have solemnly promised to live a life of loving service to God. For that […]