Sunday Scripture Reflections

Atonement and the Prodigal Son

Photography © by Andy Coan

The parable of the Prodigal or wasteful Son is more about the loving Father.  God is not a raging tyrant who must be appeased through the suffering of his Son.  Rather it’s the extravagant love of Jesus, son of the extravagant Father, that makes atonement for our sins – the sacrifice of a spotless Passover Lamb. The Mass readings for […]

Lenten Fasting and the Barren Fig Tree

Photography © by Andy Coan

Is Lent about fasting or feasting? Maybe the two are related, says this commentary on the story of the barren fig tree from the gospel of Luke chapter 13. Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. Three inter-related fertilizers which help barren fig trees bear fruit. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, […]

St. Leo the Great on the Transfiguration

Photography © by Andy Coan

Commenting on the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mt. Tabor, Leo contrasts the law, symbolized by Moses, with the grace of the gospel brought by Jesus Christ.  He notes how this glimpse of the glory of his divinity and risen humanity was given to Peter, James & John to prepare them for the shock and scandal of the cross. The Mass […]

Forty Days of Lent and the Temptation of Christ

Photography © by Andy Coan

Why Lent has forty days, the meaning of the number 40 in the Old and New Testaments, and the meaning of the fasting and temptation of Jesus Christ in the Desert… The Mass readings for the First Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13. In the English language, the special […]

Turn the Other Cheek

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Sermon on the includes such tough commands as love your enemies, turn the other cheek, and judge not.  How are we to understand such things and put them into practice?  The examples of Jesus & St. Thomas More provide us with insight here. The Mass readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — First Samuel 26:2, […]

Is it Wrong to be Happy?

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Beatitudes appear in the gospels of Matthew and Luke as part of the Sermon on the Mount. But what actually is the nature of true happiness?  Must we be miserable in this world to be happy in the next?  Faith and hope bring the lasting joy that is the essence of true blessedness. The Mass readings for the Sixth […]

High Adventure or Cautious Mediocrity

Photography © by Andy Coan

Discipleship is about a call to embark upon an epic adventure, not about preserving the safe, comfortable and predictable mediocrity of business as usual.  The disciples left behind everything to follow Jesus, embarking upon a road that would lead them through danger to glory. The Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8; Psalms […]

Why We Stone Prophets

Photography © by Andy Coan

The prophets of the Old and New Testaments show us that sometimes love demand that we speak truth that people don’t want to hear.  Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern; Jesus was run out of Nazareth. This shows us that God’s messengers shouldn’t expect honor, respect, and popularity. The Mass readings for the fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) […]

Catholics and Bible Study

Photography © by Andy Coan

Bible study and prayer with Scripture is absolutely necessary for Catholics.  As St. Jerome said, ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15; First Corinthians 12:12-30 or 12; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21. There is a myth that we must lay to […]

Sign of Transformation

Photography © by Andy Coan

Everyone knows the story of the first of the Lord’s “signs” — how Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana at the request of Mary, his mother. But there is more to the story than at first meets the eye. The Mass readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) — Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalms 96:1-2, […]