Scripture Reflections

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

Jesus Reveals the Real Presence in John’s Gospel

During this Liturgical Year (Year B), the gospel readings at Mass on Sundays are taken primarily from the Gospel of Mark. However, beginning this weekend, we will spend four consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John and the focus will be on the Eucharist. To set the scene, we need to look back to last […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Hidden Meaning in the Loaves & Fishes

Finding the hidden meanings.   Unraveling mysteries.  Deciphering symbols.  The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan Brown’s book, the Da Vinci Code, sold so well. But Brown’s secret code, the two thousand year chain of clues supposedly leading to the true identity of Jesus and his holy grail, is simply a parody of the real mystery embedded in […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Truth is Nourishment, Not a Weapon

Lots of perks come with being the boss, whether you are the boss of a church, company, or nation.  You get to call the shots, for starters.  Then there is good food, good drink.  Travel.  Parties.  Expense accounts.  Pomp and circumstance. Bodyguards. Technology has changed a lot, but people haven’t.  In ancient times as in modern, those in authority did […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Just Do It!

Everybody likes free gifts.  Advertisers know that a campaign will have much better results if there are free samples or a free gift with every purchase.  A friend of mine lived by this motto: when it’s free, take two. But when we receive a favor, we’re wise enough to know there has got to be a catch somewhere.  The giver […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Miracles Jesus Could Not Do

Over the last two Sundays, the gospel of Mark has been making it abundantly clear that Jesus is indeed God Almighty, ruler of the world and lord over life and death. But this week we come to a story that leaves us scratching our heads.  Jesus goes to his own native place, and receives a less than jubilant reception.  “They […]

"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 […]