Gospel

Photography © by Andy Coan

Generous Giver

Everybody likes free gifts.  Advertisers know that a campaign will have much better results if there are free samples or a free gift with every purchase.  A friend of mine lived by this motto: when it’s free, take two. But when we receive a favor, we’re wise enough to know there has got to be a catch somewhere.  The giver […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

A Simple and Public Act of Faith

“Our behavior will be the proving ground of our deepest convictions.  This firmness in the Faith is often an excellent testimony to the beliefs of the Christian.  In some cases it can cause people to begin their return to the House of the Father” (Father Francis Fernandez; In Conversation with God). Several weeks ago I had lunch with one of my new […]

"Ezekiel" (detail) by Michelangelo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Blessed Are You

The scripture readings during Holy Mass for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Tine (Year B) are Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalms 123:1-2, 2, 3-4; Second Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6. Use the player to listen to the homily or download the mp3 audio file. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Miracles Jesus Could Not Do

The story about Jesus’ disappointing reception in his hometown of Nazareth addresses a question asked by many—if God is omnipotent, can it be said that there are some miracles that he cannot perform?  The surprising answer tells us a lot about unbelief, faith, and the nature of God. This post offers a reflection upon the readings for the Fourteenth Sunday […]

"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin

Do not be Afraid to Touch Jesus

The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) comes from Mark 5:21-43 and consists of the accounts of two miracles Jesus performed. Jairus, a synagogue official desperate to save the life of his daughter, seeks out Jesus. On His way with Jairus to restore his daughter, Jesus encounters the woman with a hemorrhage. Mark frequently interrupts one story to […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Mark 12:28-31

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Miracles and the Enlightenment

Did Jesus really raise the daughter of Jairus and perform other miracles? The Deists, including several American founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, said no, and their Enlightenment skepticism still influences us today. This post focuses on the raising of the daughter of Jairus, miracles, expectant faith and the Enlightenment religion of Thomas Jefferson and many American founding fathers.  It serves […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

“Have you been saved?”

Have You Been Saved? In Acts 4, St. Peter delivers a powerful sermon. He concludes by saying, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” I have written before in these pages of the time when I was growing up in the […]

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

John the Baptist’s Birthday!

On June 24, the Church observes a solemn feast in honor of the birth or nativity of John the Baptist.  No other saint’s birthday is celebrated with such solemnity.  The unique role of the Forerunner, the Voice crying out in the Wilderness, in the history of salvation is part of the reason.  But also the Church wants to draw our […]

"The Taking of Christ" (detail) by Caravaggio

Six Obstacles to Evangelizing in the Modern Age

“Indeed, let us continue to go out and teach all nations!” As members of the Body of Christ striving for communion with the saints, we are faced with an essential mission contingent upon first picking up our crosses. Our primary duty is to cultivate our interior habits of being by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Good works follow the cultivation of […]