Scripture Reflections

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Practical Lessons for a Deeper Faith this Lent

An Invitation to Enter the Desert with Christ As we begin this Lenten season this Wednesday, we are called to enter the desert with Christ; to turn away from sin and towards our God. Many of us realize that we are called to face difficult questions during this penitential season.  The challenge we face is not only for us to ask those […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

It is a High Adventure that Leads to Glory

“Being a Christian is not about getting to heaven by the skin of your teeth after a life of cautious mediocrity.  It’s about high adventure that leads to glory, but only through perilous battles.” Peter.  Paul.  Isaiah.  Frodo Baggins.  They have more in common than meets the eye. Of course there are differences, too.  Peter is a small business man, […]

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

Do You Reveal Jesus When People See 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

Do you shoot the messenger?

“In polite conversation, never bring up politics or religion.”  That’s the advice I was given as a child.  And it’s good advice, too, if your aim is to be well-liked.  Politics and religion are risky because they involve deeply held convictions, and if you happen to tread on the convictions of others, you get the same reaction that a dentist […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ

There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all—Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments.  While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty—the Catholic Church has never tolerated any such “either/or.”  Both Scripture and Sacraments are precious gifts from the Lord, gifts we […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Cana Connection

In the past two weeks, the Church has celebrated the Epiphany and the Lord’s baptism. This coming Sunday we remember the Wedding Feast at Cana. What’s the connection between the Jordan’s water, Cana’s wine, and the Magi’s gifts? Actually, the link is not hard to see. The Magi’s homage shows divinity of this child-king who is to die for his […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Baptism of the Lord

At first glance, the scene makes little sense.  John’s strident call to repentance provokes an overwhelming response.  People of all shapes and sizes flock to him in the wilderness.  They are baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance and cleansing. Suddenly, out of the crowd steps John’s cousin, Jesus.  Wait a minute.  What’s Jesus, the sinless one, doing […]

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

God’s Search for You

We often hear of our search for God, but seldom, if ever hear of God’s search for us—or at least we do not think we do. But, the truth is that God first seeks us out, so that we might seek Him. He thirsts for us, so that we might thirst for Him (cf. CCC nos. 2560-2567). How do we […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

A Fleeting Glimpse of the King

Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off land. Dignitaries in dress uniform […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

Discover the Deeper Meaning of Christmas

In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife.  But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries.  Neither Caesar nor Herod will brook any rivals.  So brutal […]