Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Love of God Poured Into Our Hearts

He wore steel rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back.  The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked. At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town.  It was just a few years after Woodstock, and we were all taken with hippie culture.  It seemed so […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

When plans encounter obstacles…

Often Christians act surprised when they try to do good and things don’t go according to plan.  Sometimes it’s small but irritating annoyances that get in the way, other times serious calamities. The Bible says that “He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the former […]

"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

Be Not Afraid—The Lord is Your Shepherd

We live in a world that is at times dark and dangerous. In a moment all can change; our earthly lives can end. Deadly violence unlooked for, unexpected, senseless and sudden can come from natural and man-made sources. That the world is filled with sin, violence and death is mankind’s choice, not God’s will. He permits our freedom so that we […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Hearing the Voice of the Shepherd

What was the response to Jesus’ preaching, according to the New Testament?  Some who heard him were impressed; others wanted to push him over a cliff (cf. Luke 4:29).  The same was true for Paul and Barnabas during their missionary journeys.  They were hailed by some and run out of town by others.  Jesus summed it up quite clearly: “Do […]

"Christ's Charge to Peter" (detail) by Raphael"Christ's Charge to Peter" (detail) by Raphael

“Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep.”

In the twenty-first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, we find a gut-wrenching encounter between Jesus and Peter that defines the essence of Peter’s mission. To make this encounter unforgettable, Jesus takes Peter to the point of deep distress as he asks him not once, but three times, “Do you love me?” It is hard to imagine what this must have […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

When the Lord asks, “Do you love me?”

On many occasions I’ve heard non-Catholics object to the papacy.  Often, they say something like this: “I just can’t believe that one man on earth, the Pope, is holier than everyone else.”  So who ever said that being sinless is either a prerequisite or a consequence of being named Pope? For the Pope, the bishop of Rome, is the successor […]

Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by KazimierowskiVilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by Kazimierowski

An Outpouring of the Lord’s Divine Mercy

All Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation are celebrations of the highest importance on the Church’s liturgical calendar. These days, plus a few others, are known as solemnities. Two solemnities are so important that the Church celebrates them for eight days. We call these solemnities, octaves. They are Christmas and Easter. Essentially, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday are celebrated for […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Ambassadors of Mercy

We don’t know where Thomas was. All we know is that he missed it. All the others were huddling together behind locked doors, hoping that the authorities would be satisfied with the blood of their master and leave them alone. But Jesus wouldn’t leave them alone. Despite the locked doors, there He stood, glorious in their midst, bringing peace where […]

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

The Risen Jesus Offers Us New Life

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! What more fitting conclusion to a week of drama wrought by sin could there be than the triumph of Life over death! There is so much about Easter to help us live our lives in our day. Surely we can more fully embrace all that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us today if we go […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Finding Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). The Paradox of the Cross The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer […]