The Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit

Photography © by Andy Coan

Without Pentecost, the Gospel is not truly Good News.  For the seven gifts and Pentecostal charisms given by the Holy Spirit on this birthday celebration of the Church Catholic are essential for the success of our mission and indispensable for a joyful, victorious Christian life. This essay on the seven gifts and Pentecostal charisms of the Holy Spirit is a reflection […]

COVID-19 at the Start of Holy Week

Just a few short months ago, the great powers of the world were confident.  America, the #1 economy in the world, was in the midst of one of the longest “bull markets” in recent history.  China, the #2 economic power, was flexing its military and economic muscle.  Europe was getting ready for another high tourist season in Spring and Summer.  […]

Jesus in the Desert

The Temptation of Jesus in the Desert is the gospel of the first Sunday of Lent.  The purple color of Lent symbolizes penance, but also royalty.   As we remember how the first Adam was tempted and failed his test, we rejoice that Christ the King, the New Adam, triumphed over the tempter.  We celebrate that we, sons and daughters […]

Surpass the Pharisees

We so often condemn the Pharisees that we totally miss a sneaky way that we are often like them.  The hard saying of Jesus “if you hand causes you to sin, cut it off” is a kind of shock therapy to wake us up to the way we are hard on other’s faults yet quite soft on our own.  It’s […]

Salt of the Earth, Light of the World

You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, proclaims Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  This seems to indicate that there is an essential role for passion, excitement and fire in the Christian life. The Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) are Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalms 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; First […]

Candlemas—A Light to the Nations

February 2 is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple.  It  commemorates Simeon’s famous prophecy that Jesus would be a “light of revelation to the Gentiles.”  It is also known as Candlemas since it is the day that candles are blessed for use throughout the Church year. The Mass readings for the Feast of the […]

Church—Are you called?

Since Christians are members of Christ’s Church and the term Church means those who are called, that must mean that every single believer without exception has a call or a vocation. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) are Isaiah 8:23–9:3; Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14; First Corinthians 1:10-13, 17; Matthew 4:12-23 or 4:12-17. DEATH AND […]

Jesus, Lamb of God?

John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  This title, so prominent in the Mass, illumines the meaning of Christ’s passion, recalling the first Passover remembered every year during Holy Week and the Triduum. The Mass readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) are Isaiah […]

Rejoice in Hope

Gaudete Sunday calls us to rejoice in hope.  As John the Baptist found joy amidst suffering due to the Good News that the Christ had appeared, we too pause from our Advent penance to rejoice in a salvation that has drawn near and whose first fruits we can taste. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A) […]

Fast Before Feast

Christmas is a joyous celebration of the birth of Peace.  So why does the Church precede the feast of December 25 with a somber season of fast, penance and repentance?  A meditation for Advent… The Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A) are Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12. Christmas cards speak […]