Scripture Reflections

discipleship-and-the-cross-featured-w740x493

Why Sacrifice is Necessary in this Life

One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. It is a road of sacrifice paved with the cross of Christ. If we [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Way of the Cross and the Road to Salvation

Truth in advertising – after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned. Informed consent – before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong. That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth came out at [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Biblical Roots of the Papacy

“More Catholic than the Pope?” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy. When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peters. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the anointed kings of Judah, realized [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Great Faith of the Canaanite Woman

The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her. Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor. This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel. The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to as “dogs” by their Jewish [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Walking in Faith

One of the most famous stories of the New Testament is the one about Jesus walking on the water. If there is any gospel story we never tire of hearing, this is it. The lake is rough. Though several of the apostles spent most of their life in a boat, they’re still worried. But when they see a phantom walking [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Miracle of the Loaves

Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels—the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I once heard a homilist give what he said was the real meaning of the story: the people in the crowd took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting of selfishness, and this was [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Does Old versus New Apply in the Kingdom?

“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or avant garde. It is rather [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world. Imagine a company where everyone is productive… a government full of honest politicians… a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous. Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough. But the expectation that the [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Double Message of The Sower and the Seed

I’ve always loved gardening. The seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber and, of course, zucchini. In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method. Lots of seed cast everywhere. And predictably, many of these seeds do not produce. [...]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Experience the Life of Peace Christ Wants for You

If all we ever do to learn about God is to approach Him as an academic exercise, we may come to know about Him, but we will not come to know Him. In today’s gospel (Matthew 11:25-30), Jesus speaks of a relationship with Him to which He invites us that promises rest for the weary. In light of his other sayings, [...]