Scripture

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Photography © by Randy Hain

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

Walking on Water — Fear, Faith, & Trials

François Boucher / Public domain

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.  This post is a reflection on the Mass readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A): First Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalms 85:9, […]

Dr. Scott Hahn: Sinking Fear

Dr. Scott Hahn reflects on the Mass readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). Readings:1 Kings 19:9, 11–13Psalm 85:9–14Romans 9:1–5Matthew 14:22–33 How do we find God in the storms and struggles of our lives, in the trials we encounter in trying to do His will? God commands Elijah in today’s First Reading to stand on the mountain and […]

Surrender to the Transfigured Christ

"The Transfiguration" (detail) by Raphael - Alvesgaspar / CC BY-SA

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 […]

The Miracle of the Loaves

Photography © by Andy Coan

One of the most famous miracles of Jesus is the only one recorded in all four gospels–the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. LOAVES & FISH – SHARING? I once heard a homily that claimed what really happened is that bystanders took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting of selfishness, […]

Parables About the Kingdom

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

Two Sundays ago, we began working our way through the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel and the seven parables that begin with the Parable of the Sower and end with the Parable of the Net. Each of these parables has a particular theme and lesson. The first four parables teach about the proclamation of the Gospel, the difficulties confronting its reception, and its […]

Dr. Scott Hahn: Treasures of the Kingdom

Dr. Scott Hahn reflects on the Mass readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). Readings1 Kings 3:5, 7–12Psalm 119:57, 72, 76–77, 127–130Romans 8:28–30Matthew 13:44–52 What is your new life in Christ worth to you? Do you love His words more than gold and silver, as we sing in today’s Psalm? Would you, like the characters in the Gospel today, sell all […]

From Suffering to Joy

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

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 […]

Why Isn’t My Faith Stronger?

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

We all know in general terms what God requires of us. He requires our love of Him and our love of others. He has given us His Church in which to gather and grow as His family. Through worship at Holy Mass and receiving Him in Holy Communion, we are strengthened in faith, hope and charity. Through our prayer and […]

Dr. Scott Hahn: The Word’s Return

Dr. Scott Hahn reflects on the Mass readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). Readings:Isaiah 55:10–11Psalm 65:10–14Romans 8:18–23Matthew 13:1–23 Today’s readings, like last week’s, ask us to meditate on Israel’s response to God’s Word—and our own. Why do some hear the word of the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion and faith […]