St. Mark

Surpass the Pharisees — Cut it Off!

Photography © by Andy Coan

The sham holiness of the Pharisees was hard on others sin but made excuses for its own faults.The sham holiness of the Pharisees was hard on others sin but made excuses for its own faults. 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 […]

Anatomy of Envy

Photography © by Andy Coan

Envy, one of the seven deadly sins, is different from mere jealousy – it is darker and much more dangerous.  Yet its cunning can be – and has been – defeated. The readings for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Wisdom 2:17-20; Psalms 54:3-4, 5, 6-8; James 3:16–4:3; Mark 9:30-37. Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of […]

Amen, Amen: James, Peter and Rock-Solid Faith

Photography © by Andy Coan

The word amen is familiar to all.  But few know its origins and its true meaning, which actually strikes at the very essence of what it means to believe and have rock-solid faith. The readings for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalms 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35. Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most […]

The Motivation for the Miracles

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Ephphatha!” The miracles of Jesus, particularly the story of Jesus’ healing of the deaf – mute in the Gospel of Mark, raise a big questions — did Jesus Christ truly work miracles and if so, was his motivation compassion or glory? The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; James 2:1-5; Mark […]

Does Scripture Bash Tradition?

Photography © by Andy Coan

What does the term Tradition really mean? Is it opposed to the Bible? The sola scriptura principle of the Protestant Reformation assumed it was — here we examine this assumption in the light of a few key scriptures. The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark […]

The Eucharist in John’s Gospel

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

During this Liturgical Year (Year B), the gospel readings at Mass on Sundays are taken primarily from the Gospel of Mark. However, beginning this weekend, we will spend five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John and the focus will be on the Eucharist. To set the scene, we need to look back to last […]

Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds

Photography © by Andy Coan

The story of the feeding of the 5,000 teaches us much about leadership in the Kingdom of God.  The King is a shepherd who puts the sheep’s needs before his own, and feeds them with truth, the nourishment they need most. Lots of perks come with being the boss, whether it be of a church, company, or nation. You get to […]

Generous Giver

Photography © by Andy Coan

Everybody likes free gifts.  Advertisers know that a campaign will have much better results if there are free samples or a free gift with every purchase.  A friend of mine lived by this motto: when it’s free, take two. But when we receive a favor, we’re wise enough to know there has got to be a catch somewhere.  The giver […]

Blessed Are You

"Ezekiel" (detail) by Michelangelo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The scripture readings during Holy Mass for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Tine (Year B) are Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalms 123:1-2, 2, 3-4; Second Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6. Use the player to listen to the homily or download the mp3 audio file. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my […]

Miracles Jesus Could Not Do

Photography © by Andy Coan

The story about Jesus’ disappointing reception in his hometown of Nazareth addresses a question asked by many—if God is omnipotent, can it be said that there are some miracles that he cannot perform?  The surprising answer tells us a lot about unbelief, faith, and the nature of God. This post offers a reflection upon the readings for the Fourteenth Sunday […]