Scripture Reflections

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

Courage in Dark Days

Be of Good Courage in these Dark Days Being situationally aware is good advice for everyone, anywhere and anytime. When this advice is given, it usually is a reminder to be aware of what is going on around you—to be ready for any danger. So, during these dark days in which we live, this is certainly good advice. But, what […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

God Revealed as Father

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalms 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33. The recent celebration of Father’s Day invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach […]

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

The Nativity of John the Baptist

Today, Saturday, June 24, 2017 is the Solemnity of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist. On December 25 we celebrate the big one—the birthday of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh.  The Church actually does not celebrate the birthday of the saints, except that of Jesus’ mother.  Generally, their special day in the calendar is the date of their […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Is the Eucharist the Body and Blood of Christ?

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Year A) — Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalms 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20; First Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58. The Catholic Church teaches 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 […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Why the Doctrine of the Trinity Matters

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Year A) — Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; Second Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18. Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher.  Many even confess him as Savior. But the […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

Pentecost—You can Set the World on Fire

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Difference that the Spirit Makes

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of Pentecost (Year ABC) — Acts 2:1-11; Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34; First Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23. As a teenager, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.  We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed […]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

The Difference the Ascension of the Lord Makes in Our Lives

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. During […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Sharing the Lord’s Joy

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Year ABC) — Acts 1:1-11; Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20. 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 […]

"The Baptism of the Eunuch " by Rembrandt

Our Joys and Hopes

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Psalms 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20; First Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21. A principal theme of his Pope Francis’ pontificate is Christian joy. His apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, speaks to the heart in a powerful way. In the first reading today, we hear […]