Scripture Reflections

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

King of the Universe—Cause of My Hope

“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar.  Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King—King of the Universe. Not only is Jesus Christ the Messiah and our Savior, not only is he our brother and our friend, Jesus Christ is our Lord and King. To […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The King of Kings—Unlike any other

From the dawn of civilization, kings have arisen who have dreamed of possessing a world-wide dominion, a universal kingdom that would last forever.  Some have come close to conquering much of the known world—Alexander, Genghis Khan, Augustus Caesar, and Adolf Hitler, to name a few.  And some kingdoms have lasted a very long time, such as Rome whose Eastern half […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Hasten the end…

Whenever I lead a trip to the Holy Land, the question inevitably comes, “Will we visit Armageddon?”  This refers, of course, to the battlefield surrounding the ancient city of Megiddo where some think the final confrontation will take place before the end of the world (Rev 16:16).  Catholics and Protestants alike have a fascination with the Scriptural accounts of the […]

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

Six Keys to fully Surrender to 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 Widow’s Mite

The time lag between the two widows in this Sunday’s readings was considerable.  Lots of things change in eight hundred years. But one thing their two societies had in common—they offered neither social security, welfare, 401(k)s, nor pension plans.  With no husband to provide for them, both widows were literally at the mercy of those around them, totally dependent on […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

All Saints Day — A Call to Holiness for All

At age sixteen, I thought that aspiring to holiness was out of the question.  If you really wanted to be holy, I thought, you had to be a priest, nun, or brother.  And you had to spend your days doing “religious stuff” like praying, preaching, teaching catechism, or serving the poor.  But I had developed an interest in the opposite […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Blind Man Speaks

There were hundreds in the crowd that day at Jericho.  No doubt all of them had needs, many of them urgent.  But this Sunday’s gospel tells us that apparently only one of them had the audacity to speak up and ask for help from the prophet that everyone had come to see. The man happened to be a blind beggar, […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

John, James and True Greatness

It was time to make their move.  Usually it was Peter who took the initiative, but now it was their turn.  They cleared their throats and asked the master for the best seats in the house, the places of honor right next to the throne. Of course, in this conversation, recounted in Sunday’s gospel, John and James were referring to […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

A Tale of Two Men

He was curious.  He had already fulfilled all the elementary requirements.  He was a decent person who hadn’t killed anybody, had honored his parents, and would never think of stealing another man’s goods or another man’s spouse.  But what would it take to advance beyond that to assurance of heaven, to perfection, to true intimacy with God? Curiosity is not […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Marriage & Family

The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is love.”  This the same point made a few years earlier by an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Gadium et Spes 24, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, says this: God is Trinity, a communion of persons who pour themselves out […]