Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

We now come to the Sunday with a split personality. It starts with an upbeat gospel recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is a festive affair, complete with a parade route strewn with palm branches instead of ticker tape. But we quickly progress to the stark reading of Jesus’ passion, bearable only because we already know its happy ending. […]

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Five Lessons from Jesus about the Path to Glory

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) As Christians, we must be people of prayer—pure and simple. If we do not pray, we do not have a relationship with Christ. There are many types of prayer. Among […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Be Radical… Be the Best

All of us want the very best for those we love. But as we pursue it, we often have a rude awakening. The best turns out to be quite expensive, whether you are dealing with homes, cars, or colleges. To get it will cost much time and money, maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears. We are then presented with […]

"Jesus Opens the Eyes of the Man Born Blind" (detail)
by Duccio"Jesus Opens the Eyes of the Man Born Blind" (detail) by Duccio

How is Your Sight? Lessons for Living in the Light

In St. John’s Gospel, there is the account of the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-41). It is the sixth of the seven signs recounted by St. John that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

If God So Loves the World, Why is there a Hell?

As the camera pans the crowd at a football game, you see a few fans holding up the sign. It simply says “John 3:16.” For years, evangelical Protestants have extolled this little bible verse as the heart of the Gospel. In their minds, if you only have a moment to tell people something about the Christian faith, this is the […]

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

Jesus Offers You Living Water

The Gospel from the Third Sunday of Lent (Year A) is the story of the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.  Many will hear this Gospel today instead of the Gospel of Year B because catechumens preparing for the Easter Sacraments will be undergoing the First Scrutinies today and this gospel passages is central to their […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Connection Between the Ten Commandments and the Cleansing of the Temple

When it started, all was fresh and new. An unnamed but mighty God freed a motley crew of slaves and offered them a new way of life in a new land. Most importantly, he offered them a privileged and exclusive relationship with Himself. In the ancient world, most nations worshipped their own god and believed themselves to have a special […]

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

Six Keys to help you Surrender your Life to Jesus 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 Sacrifice of Isaac

Everyone knows that Lent is about sacrifice. So it’s fitting that the first reading in the second Sunday of Lent recalls one of the most famous sacrifices of all time. Here’s the background. Abraham really only desires one thing—a son who will lead to descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky. The only problem is that his wife […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Like the Waters of the Flood…

In today’s fuzzy moral landscape, it is quite unpopular to even speak of sin, never mind condemn it. It’s even more politically incorrect to talk about God taking stern action against sin and those who promote it. But that is exactly what the story of Noah and the flood is all about, as we are reminded by the scripture readings […]