St. Matthew

How am I to understand suffering?

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

One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads […]

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

“These then, whom Herod’s cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom, are justly hailed as ‘infant martyr flowers’; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.” (St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of Grace) The Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, is December 28. The Memorial of […]

Encountering the Word — Matthew 2:16-18

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken […]

Judging Sins of Omission

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Feast of Christ the King reminds us that Jesus will judge the living and the dead.  Matthew 25 hints that the pious, decent folk may be in for a surprise . . . sins of omission, failing to love, may figure more prominently in the last judgment that we may think. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity […]

The Proverbs 31 Woman and the Parable of the Talents

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Proverbs 31 woman and Jesus’s parable of the talents proves that bold initiative, not timid passivity, is what true faith is all about.  If we are to bear abundant fruit, our faith must be seasoned with boldness. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; […]

Caught Unprepared

Photography © by Andy Coan

The parable of the foolish virgins who let the oil in their lamps run out recalls the recurring nightmare that so many experience, of being caught totally unprepared for a test or presentation. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; First Thessalonians 4:13-17 or 4; Matthew […]

One Sin to Rule Them All

How did the Pharisees, who were God’s champions in the days of the Maccabees, become the villains who sought the death of God’s son?  They were deformed by an insidious spiritual disease that is the deadliest of the seven deadly or capital sins – pride. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Malachi […]