patmarrin's blog

May they all be one

"Christ Jesus is our peace; he made the two one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity" (Eph 2:14).

The early church saw its share of conflict as its first established communities and emerging leaders hammered out a unified understanding of who Jesus is and what his mission is through his church.

By the Grace of God

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good work” (Eph 2:9).

Today’s commemoration of St. Paul of the Cross, the 18th-century founder of the Passionist Order, offers us a glimpse into the way grace works in long chains of influence. Started in Italy, the Passionists took root in Spain, and its missionaries were sent to Latin America. In El Salvador in the 1970s, two Passionist priests deeply influenced the conversion of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who modeled his episcopacy on the image of the shepherd who lays down his life for his flock.

God and Caesar

“Whose image is this and whose inscription?” Matt 22:20).

Money talks, and when it does, it echoes loudest in the halls of power.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus utters words that have reverberrated down through the long history of the debate over how to balance our obligations to God and the world, church and state, citizenship and discipleship. Is it moral to refuse to pay taxes to support some wars? Is it patriotic to criticize your government or take part in civil disobedience to protest laws you decide are unjust? What belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?

Ignatius, bishop and martyr

“Beware of the leaven – that is, the hypocrisy – of the Pharisees” (Luke 12:1-7).

Today we commemorate St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the first generation of bishops succeeding the Apostles themselves at the end of the first century. He was arrested by Roman authorities and died in the Colosseum in the year 107. During his transport to Rome for execution, Ignatius wrote seven letters that might easily have been incorporated into the New Testament for their powerful proclamation of the Gospel and for his personal imitation of the paschal mystery of Jesus.

Where are today's prophets?

“They were plotting to catch him at something he might say” (Luke 11:54).

Today’s gospel from Luke continues Jesus’ scathing criticism of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his time. They kill the prophets, then build monuments to their memory; they hold the key of knowledge but do not use it to open the doors, neither entering themselves nor letting others enter. Not surprisingly, the scribes and Pharisees are infuriated with Jesus and plot to destroy him.

St. Teresa of Avila

“If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal 5:18).

Sometimes referred to as “Big Teresa” to distinguish her from “Little” Thèrése of Lisieux, today’s Saint Teresa of Avila, a 16th century Spanish Carmelite reformer, was one of the spiritual giants of the Western church. Coming on the wave of the Reformation and on the cusp of the age of discovery as Spain and Portugal penetrated the New World of the Americas, Teresa helped refocus the mystical heart of religious life on Jesus.

The Law of Love

"Woe to you, scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift a finger to touch them" (Luke 11:46).

Goodbye Columbus

“This generation … seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah” (Luke 11:29).

Come to the Feast

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a wedding" (Matt 22:2).

St. John XXIII, pray for us.

“Every kingdom divided against itself will fall” (Luke 11:16).

When Pope John XXII was beatified, the first step toward sainthood, the day assigned to honor him was originally October 11, marking the first day of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. St. John XXIII now watches over the church, and today’s Lectionary readings offer us a reflection on the importance of his leadership 50 years ago, now still present and at work in Pope Francis.