Mercy

Obsessed with the Passion of Christ?

Photography © by Andy Coan

This post on the passion of Jesus was originally written as a commentary on the scripture readings for Palm Sunday but makes for a great read anytime during the Lenten Season, especially Holy Week.   The suffering and death of  Christ reveals the depths of sin and the intensity of divine love. The Mass readings for Passion (Pal) Sunday (Year […]

Costly Grace and the Woman Caught in Adultery

Photography © by Andy Coan

The adulterous woman to whom Jesus said “neither do I condemn you” was the recipient of the free gift of a grace that was costly, not cheap.  She was called to leave behind the sin of adultery.  And the pardon of the adulteress cost Jesus his life. The Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Isaiah […]

Atonement and the Prodigal Son

Photography © by Andy Coan

The parable of the Prodigal or wasteful Son is more about the loving Father.  God is not a raging tyrant who must be appeased through the suffering of his Son.  Rather it’s the extravagant love of Jesus, son of the extravagant Father, that makes atonement for our sins – the sacrifice of a spotless Passover Lamb. The Mass readings for […]

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

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

The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues.  Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing ten dollars requires returning ten dollars. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing […]

Jesus Offers You Living Water

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

The Gospel from the Third Sunday of Lent (Year A), John 4:5-42, is the story of the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.  The Elect (those preparing for Baptism at the Easter Vigil) undergo the First Scrutinies on this Sunday and this gospel passage is central to their journey. This passage is filled with imagery and […]

Daily Quote — Robert J. Spitzer, SJ

“God is not waiting around to get even with people for things that they have done fifteen years before. God is gentle and humble of heart; unconditionally good and loving. Therefore we do not need to cower and grovel before God’s will. We need to trust in it; trust in its awesome beauty, its unconditional power to bring goodness out […]

A World of Wonder

“Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.” (Sixth Promise of the Sacred Heart) “And I think to myself what a wonderful world…” These are words from February’s theme song, What a Wonderful World. This month we will look at the stage of development where we meet those curious little ones known as “Toddlers.” “What can they teach […]

Daily Reflection—Born of God

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in […]

Daily Reflection—A Light Has Shone in the Darkness

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2 RSVCE) When the time was full in Salvation History and Almighty God sent His Son among us as His Anointed One, the people of Israel had been living in a great, oppressive darkness. Into this seemingly […]

Daily Reflection—Bringing Forth Justice to the Nations

"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Michelangelo

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; […]