Gospel

Inside the Cathedral of the Assumption in Pisa, Photography by Mark Armstrong

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (called the Dormition in the Christian East) has been celebrated as a solemn feast on August 15 since ancient times.  What is the meaning and basis of the dogma and the Solemnity? Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary — Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10; Psalms 45:10, […]

"Christ Walking on the Waters" (detail) By Julius Sergius Von Klever [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Walking on the Water—Fear, Faith and Trials

The gospel story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter sinking has much to teach us about the difference between fear, little faith, and the kind of trust that endures waves and storms, trials and crisis. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — First Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalms 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14; […]

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

Surrender to the Transfigured Christ

The Transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:1-9) stands prominently as an encouragement along the walk from Baptism to Resurrection; a walk that must pass through the Cross. Place yourself in the position of the Apostles—they have journeyed with Jesus since he began his public ministry and I am sure that they could not have been more astonished at what they had […]

Faith and Mountaintop Experiences—Transfiguration

The Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus at the summit of Mt. Tabor, remembered each year on August 6, is one of the pivotal events of the Lord’s public ministry.  The veil of the carpenter’s humanity is pulled back for a moment and his divine nature is revealed.  This sudden manifestation of the divinity of Christ tells us of the role […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Is the Kingdom of God Liberal or Conservative? Old or New?

How does the Kingdom of God relate to conservative versus liberal values?  Should those seeking the pearl of great price look for it in realms that are more traditionalist and old or more progressive and new? Reflection on the Mass readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — First Kings 3:5, 7-12; Psalms 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-12; Romans […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

Many years ago, I taught a fourth grade CCD class for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Parable of the Wheat and Tares

The parable of the wheat and the tares or weeds is Jesus’ response to those who want to cleanse the Christian community of the impure and imperfect. The Church, in this world, is more a hospital for sinners than a club for saints. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; […]

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Nurturing the Gift of Faith

Have you ever struggled with your faith? Maybe you love God, but wonder why you don’t love Him more deeply and why that love does not seem to have a greater impact on your life. Maybe you are inspired by the lives of others you know who seem to be so much more deeply in love with Jesus, and you […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Sowing and Growing

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed needs to be viewed from two different perspectives in order to unlock its meaning – from that of the sower and that of the seed. Whether sowing or growing – the point is a plentiful harvest and much fruit.  Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year […]