Apostles

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

Pentecost—Love Ablaze

“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 […]

"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 […]

Learn from Andrew

Unlike some of the other hills featured in Jesus’ public ministry, Mount Tabor is truly a mountain. As our bus climbed the windy roads and I looked down at the countryside, I thought back to the line of Scripture which will open this Sunday’s Gospel: “Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up to a high mountain apart […]

"Saint Peter Preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs" by Jan Styka [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How to Preach Like the Apostles

I have always loved the Acts of the Apostles and have often recommended it to those who are approaching the Bible for the first time. Filled with colorful narratives, adventure, martyrdom, persecution, journeys by sea, etc., it makes for stimulating reading indeed. But I love it especially because it shows us the excitement of being a follower of Jesus. Long […]

"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

Encountering the Word — Matthew 28:18b-20

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Luke 9:1-6

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Elijah’s Bread

It’s hard enough to do the right thing.  But when you get blame for it instead of praise, it really takes the wind out of your sails, even if you happen to be a prophet. This is background we need in order to understand this Sunday’s first reading.  Elijah had just brought an end to a two year famine by […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

You Are What You Eat

  A few years back, George Gallup conducted a poll called “Religion in America.”  He studied two groups of Americans—regular churchgoers from various Christian churches on the one hand, and totally unchurched people on the other.  He quizzed both groups on issues ranging from the divinity of Jesus, to cheating on income tax, infidelity in marriage and abortion. His findings […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Hidden Meaning in the Loaves & Fishes

Finding the hidden meanings.   Unraveling mysteries.  Deciphering symbols.  The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan Brown’s book, the Da Vinci Code, sold so well. But Brown’s secret code, the two thousand year chain of clues supposedly leading to the true identity of Jesus and his holy grail, is simply a parody of the real mystery embedded in […]