Sunday Scripture Reflections

Sunday Reflection—Faith as a Dynamic Journey

Faith or belief is more than conviction that God exists. True Christian faith is a dynamic journey, a quest of trust, confidence, and commitment that involves no small amount of risk taking. The Mass readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalms 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2,; Luke 12:32-48 or […]

Sunday Reflection—The Rich Fool

THE PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN The story of the rich man in Luke 12 who gloats over his bumper harvest brings up a good question – is money and success evil?  Augustine, following Paul, says it’s not money but the love of money that’s the root of all evil. The Mass readings for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time […]

Sunday Reflection—Ask, and You Will Receive

PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN Jesus’ says “ask and you shall receive.”  He encourages us to ask boldly and persistently through the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow.  But if we don’t listen in prayer, we won’t know what to ask for.  Here are tips for using the inspired prayers called Psalms as guides to praying effectively. […]

Sunday Reflection—Martha, Mary, and Catholic Fullness

PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN Luke’s story of Mary and Martha of Bethany, sisters of Lazarus, teaches us about hospitality, service, action, contemplation, and distraction in pursuit of the Catholic Fullness. The Mass readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Genesis 18:1-10; Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42. I once received a harsh letter from […]

Sunday Reflection—The Sign of the Cross

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS The profound origin and meaning of the sign of the cross is just one example of the depth and richness of the Catholic Tradition.  It invites us to rediscover and reappropriate our heritage. The Mass readings for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalms 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20; Galatians […]

Sunday Reflection—Spirit vs. Flesh

Photography © by Andy Coan

SPIRIT VS. FLESH The Theology of the Body as outlined by Pope John Paul II has challenged a fundamental assumption about the Catholic faith, namely, that it considers the body and bodily pleasures as unspiritual or even evil. This article helps to illumine what St. Paul means in Galatians 5:17 when he speaks of “the flesh” being at war with […]

Sunday Reflection—The Body and Blood of Christ

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi and Holy Thursday Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper — the institution of the Holy Eucharist — why did Jesus do what he did and say what he said? What did he mean when he said “This is my body and this is my blood” and “Do this in Memory of Me”?  And […]

Spirit of Truth — Hilary of Poitiers

chair-peter-holy-spiritDetail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hilary of Poitiers, fourth century champion of the Trinity, here explains the Holy Ghost as gift and Spirit of truth, “the light of our minds and the splendor that irradiates our understanding.” Our Lord commanded us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In baptism, then, we profess faith in […]

The Joy of the Ascension

Photography © by Andy Coan

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 […]

The Holy Spirit and the Catholic Church

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 brings up a very interesting point.  To discern the proper interpretation of Scripture & the will of God, where should we turn for guidance, the teaching authority (or Magisterium) of the Church, or to the Holy Spirit? Some have painted these two as alternatives. But are they really?   The Mass readings for […]