Hope

This World Seems Upside Down

Imagine if you will, that you took a copy of the morning newspaper, turned it upside down and then tried to read and make sense of it. This example actually comes from the French philosopher Simone Weil when she attempted to describe how we humans experience our eternal reality and our relationship with God, while looking at things through our […]

Encountering the Word — John 11:25-27

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.’ ” (John […]

The Stone Walls Surrounding our Heart Must Come Down

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30) This verse from the Letter to the Hebrews refers to the well-known Old Testament story of the fall of the walls of Jericho. But, truthfully, the story has a much larger meaning for each of us. In the context of our individual spiritual […]

Winter of Our Discontent

As these winter months drag to a close, many of us have become familiar with, or been reminded of, the experience expressed in the title of the well-known John Steinbeck novel cited above. Literary buffs might know that the line is actually from William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun [or […]

An Eternal Hope for Healing

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” (Matthew 9:35) I heard someone say recently that the number one thing Christ brought to us, aside from the gift of our eternal salvation, was the gift of healing. And I agree, […]

What is My Greatest Hope?

"The Cardinal and Theological Virtues" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What would you say is your greatest hope? What is the one thing you would identify if you were pressed to offer only one answer to this question: What is your greatest hope? Scripture actually has a great deal to say about this virtue of hope, not the least of which: “For whatever was written previously was written for our […]

God enters the darkness

A world in darkness. A world in desolation. While these last days of Advent are filled with expectation, we must not forget that they are also filled with darkness. A world waiting for a Savior means a world waiting in sin and pain. A world filled with hope means a world that is still unfulfilled and empty. The people walking […]

Gaudete Sunday

Photography © by Andy Coan

John the Baptist is often thought of as a stern, grim figure.  But as a matter of fact, he could be the patron saint of joy!  Maybe that’s why is is the focal point of the gospel for Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent.  Joy comes only through humility and repentance. Reflection on the Mass readings for […]

Season of Hope

Photography © by Andy Coan

Advent is a season of joy & hope.  Paul says to rejoice in hope.  But what is hope, anyway?  How does this theological virtue differ from faith and what does it have to do with rejoicing? Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C) — Baruch 5:1-9; Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke […]