patmarrin's blog

Labor Day

“Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:23).

Jesus returned to his hometown and entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. The attendant handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and Jesus proclaimed the lines from Chapter 61 that summarized his mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.”
It is a familiar scene, but on this Labor Day let us imagine it in a somewhat different way to ask an important question about the glad tidings Jesus brought to the world.

The Peter Principle

"You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (Matt 16:23).

The Sign of the Cross

“When the disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb” (Mark 6:29).

St. Augustine, a faithful servant

“Who is the faithful and prudent servant the master has put in charge of his household?” (Matt 24:44).

Last Call

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you are like whitewashed tombs” (Matt 23:27).

Conversion of Heart

“You strain out the gnat and swallow the camel” (Matt 23:24).

God is Near

“Sing to the Lord a new song” Ps 96).

Jesus criticizes the scribes and Pharisees for making God seem inaccessible. They are self-appointed gatekeepers who devise complicated rules, rituals and systems of thought only they understand and control. They fail to find God for themselves and in turn prevent others from finding God. Jesus’ own teaching was that God was already intimately present to everyone, loving us first and showing mercy on sinners. If he was right, official representatives of religion were out of a job. Everyone can go directly to God.

Who's in Charge? We Are.

“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 16:18).

Dry Bones to New Life

“I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD” (Ezek 37:14).

Today’s first reading vividly depicts the prophetic vision of the valley of dry bones raised up by the breath of God, a promise that the defeated and deported nation of Israel would be restored. God’s promise is more powerful than the worst devastation we can imagine. At Ezekiel’s call, the bones clatter and stand upright, are reassembled, covered with sinews and flesh, then animated by the four winds. It is a new creation.

Come to the Feast!

“The kingdom of God is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son” (Matt 22:2).