Lent

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

My people, what have I done to you?

The Reproaches The Good Friday Reproaches, or Improperia, are among the most unsettling prayers of the Church’s liturgical tradition. They are fitting for the most unsettling day of the year: that day we dare to call “Good,” the day our churches stand stark and empty, the day when the comforting words of the Holy Mass are not uttered, the day […]

"The Temptation of Christ on the Mount" (detail) Duccio di Buoninsegna

Baptism by the Fires of Temptation

The Exodus Prefigures the Spiritual Journey of Christians During Lent God’s Chosen people remained in Egyptian captivity for 400 years and with hardened hearts and withering minds due to drudgery, they had forgotten God. Moses was sent to lead them out of slavery and into the Promised Land, but not before a 40 year trudge of purification through the barren […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Humility Triumphs

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year ABC) — Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14–27:66 or 27:11-54. When a conquering hero of the ancient world rode into town in triumph, it was in a regal chariot or on the back of a stately stallion.  Legions of soldiers accompanied him in the victory procession.  […]

"Ecce Homo" by Antonio Ciseri

Shall I Crucify Your King?

As we approach Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we also approach one of the most difficult moments in liturgy: our call to crucify Christ. For the reading of the Passion accounts in these liturgies, there is the option for the Gospel to be read by multiple readers. I would venture to guess that most parishes read the Passion account this […]

What God Did When I Thought My Crosses Were Too Small

This Lent, I resumed my favorite Lenten prayer tradition, praying for a different person, couple, or family each of the forty days, offering all of my prayers, petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings that day for their intentions. It was a particularly amazing experience for me this year. Before the Lenten season, I had become unusually fixated on the fact that the […]

Daily Reflection — In You Alone O God

“But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:1). We need to know that in this world of senseless violence that there is meaning to our being and existence and hope […]

Daily Reflection — Do I know What I Want?

Ask yourself what it is that you most want.. right now. Maybe a new job or better job security, better pay or just the respect of your employer. Or maybe you have health issues, concern for your children or the need to get your finances in better order. Do you need for a new car? I would just like a fun and extended summer vacation! These […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

For the Love of Lazarus

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-2. The gospel story of the raising of Lazarus found in John 11 shows us why Jesus can love some friends and disciples more than others, why death is not natural and beautiful, the difference […]