Easter

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 […]

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 […]

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Don’t Stop Celebrating

In a culture that moves quickly to the next thing, it is hard to celebrate Easter for fifty days. We are probably better at living the forty days of Lent than we are about living the fifty days of Easter. As soon as Easter Sunday comes and goes, it almost feels like it’s back to Ordinary Time. Even though 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 […]

"Descent of Christ to Limbo (of the Fathers)" by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze

This Joyful Eastertide

Augustine once proclaimed, “We are an Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!” When the Easter Vigil’s beauty is over, when family visits have come to an end, and when the last egg is finally found in the yard, we must not forget that Easter is not merely a one-day celebration. It is a fifty-day celebration.  And more than that, […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Four Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]