Scripture Reflections

"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 […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Paraclete

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. 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 […]

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 6:1-7; Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; First Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12. “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me”  (John 14:6). How many times have you heard something like this:  “As long as you believe in God and […]

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

The Lord is My Shepherd

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 2:14, 36-41; Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6; First Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10. How many times have we made mistakes, not just little ones, but big ones… errors in judgment and behavior that cut us to the quick? We all do foolish things and sometimes they hurt others […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Voice of the Good 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 […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Our Deepest Desire—Satisfied on the Road to Emmaus

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 2:14, 22-28; Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; First Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35. Deep within each and every one of us there is a hunger and a thirst.  We all experience this yearning of the soul—a heart that burns with longing, but we don’t always recognize what […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

From Despair to Joy at Emmaus

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 2:14, 22-28; Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; First Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35. What a disappointment! They thought they’d found the Messiah. But he’d been trapped like an animal and executed as a criminal. Up until his very last breath, they had hoped he’d descend from the […]

Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by Kazimierowski

Trust in 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 Coan

Ambassadors of Mercy

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Easter | Divine Mercy Sunday (Year A) — Acts 2:42-47; Psalms 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; First Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31. 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 […]

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Our New Life in the Risen Christ

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 […]