St. Peter

The Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition comprise the Word of God

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

“Deacon Mike, why do we believe that it belongs to the Church to interpret the bible? Can’t we just read the bible for ourselves? The guys I do bible study with say that we (Catholics) add things that are not there.” A young man who participates in a “non-denominational” bible study asked me this question. This question comes up from time to […]

Christ, Controversy, and Crisis

Photography © by Andy Coan

In John 10, Jesus says that his sheep hear his voice.  But clearly, his words provoked controversy and crisis.  Some hung on his every word, others rejected them.  His words raise many questions about the role of predestination, grace, freedom, confidence and perseverance.   The Mass readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year C) — Acts 13:14, 43-52; Psalms […]

The Origins of the Papacy

Photography © by Andy Coan

The origins of the Papacy can be found in the dialogue between Jesus and Simon Peter in John 21, a gospel traditionally read during Eastertide.   The question,”Peter, do you love me?” is followed by the command  “Feed my sheep.”  The pope, shepherd and successor of Peter, has a role that has not to do with privilege but with sacrifice. […]

Daily Bible Verse — Acts 2:37-39

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Your Daily Bible Verse “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you […]

New Life in Christ

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! What more fitting conclusion to a week of drama wrought by sin could there be than the triumph of Life over death! There is so much about Easter to help us live our lives in our day. Surely we can more fully embrace all that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us today if we go […]

Our Responsibility as the Flock

Detail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Today we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. The Gospel for the feast is Matthew’s account of the events at Caesarea Philippi, where Peter receives the mission from Jesus to lead His Church. This year, we happened to hear Mark’s account of the incident just yesterday, on the Thursday of the 6th Week of Ordinary Time. It […]

Encountering the Word — 1 Peter 1:3-5

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready […]

John 6 and Your Eucharistic Faith

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

Four Sundays ago, I mentioned here that the liturgical calendar of the Church was taking a short break from the Gospel of Mark, which we had been hearing this year at Sunday Mass. Next Sunday, we will return to Mark’s Gospel. Counting today, we have spent five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Its content has been […]

The Witness of Peter and Paul

"The Martyrdom of St. Peter" (detail) by Caravaggio

One of the most remarkable places to experience while visiting Rome is a small dark room under Vatican hill.  Very few tourists even know its existence, and access is limited to 250 people a day.   In a city filled with art, this room is bare.  A tour guide shepherds you into the room, and then points through a large […]

Encountering the Word — 1 Peter 2:9-10

Photography © by Andy Coan

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10) […]