Holy Family

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Matthew 2:13-15

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, […]

The Preparation of Simeon

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which recalls the first time the Messiah entered the Temple. In Luke 2:22-40, we hear of the Holy Family traveling to Jerusalem for Mary’s purification (see Leviticus 12:2-8). Even though Mary, free from sin, did not require purification, she submitted to the Law, just as the Son of God […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Writer’s Block, Ordinary Time, and Grace

During the first weeks of Ordinary Time, whether it is after Christmas or Easter, I generally find myself faced with writer’s block.  Is it the mental overload of Christmas or Easter? Is it the busyness of work as we get back into the routine? Is it the weather? This week there aren’t even any large feast days on the liturgical […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

What You Can Learn from the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. Each year, this celebration occurs on the Sunday following Christmas Day, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, then it falls on the following Friday. The Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Holy Family—Piety in the Twenty-First Century?

The Feast of the Holy Family challenges us to grow in the virtues of piety, honor, patience, and forbearance.   And to learn to laugh together. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Feast of the Holy Family (Year B) — Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3; Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; Heb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40. The Passion of […]

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

Remembering the Holy Innocents

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst

Love’s Greatest Gift

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Merry Christmas! I love holidays. I love family. The two just seem to go together, don’t they?. Some holidays are joyful gatherings, some not so much. We are all too human, as the saying goes. But I say, give me holidays and family any day; warts and […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Fleeting Glimpse of the King

Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off land. Dignitaries in dress uniform […]