Apostles

Pentecost—God’s Love Ablaze

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

“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 […]

The Ascension of the Lord and Our Mission

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

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 […]

The Mother and Head of All Churches

Today we celebrate the feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica in Rome. This church is the mother and head of all the churches of the city of Rome and the world.  This title might seem a little odd to us, since we tend to think of St. Peter’s Basilica as being the most important church for Catholics.  As Bishop […]

Elijah’s Bread

Photography © by Andy Coan

Somehow, we can all relate to the discouragement and exhaustion of Elijah.  So we need to learn from the solution proposed by God to revitalize and energize him for the long journey he needed to make and the important work he was going to do.  The bread God provided is a figure of a more wondrous bread that is available […]

You Are What You Eat

Photography © by Andy Coan

The only miracle recorded in all four gospels was the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Could this be to emphasize the central importance of the spiritual nutrition that Jesus, the Bread of Life, provides for us through the Eucharist? And could it be that a diet of junk food rather than the eucharistic banquet might just be a factor […]

Hidden Meaning of Loaves & Fishes

Photography © by Andy Coan

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is the only miracle of Jesus recorded in all four gospels.  John calls it a sign, a symbolic event with many hidden meanings.  It points beyond itself back to Old Testament persons and events and forward to the Eucharist. Finding hidden meanings. Unraveling mysteries. Deciphering symbols. The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan […]

The Difference the Ascension of the Lord Makes in Our Lives

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

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 […]

How to Preach Like the Apostles

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

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 […]

The Lord is My Shepherd

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

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 […]