patmarrin's blog

Now You See Me

" A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while and you will see me" (John 16:16).

Whether a diocese celebrates the Ascension today or on Sunday, the theme in the readings is the same; the crucial transfer of Jesus' mission and message to his disciples, the church.

A New World Coming

I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now" (John 16:12).

The movie title "The Man Who Knew Too Much" captures something of the dilemma faced by prophets, mystics and visionaries.

To Know Me Is to Know God

"Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me?" (John 14:9).

If there was any logic to Jesus' selection of the Apostles, it might be that each one revealed some aspect of our common humanity as he or she encountered the mystery of God in Jesus.

Philip is described as a practical realist. He is the Apostle who took charge in the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish. Seeing the overwhelming challenge of the huge, hungry crowd, he quickly calculated the number, then the cost per person of feeding everyone (200 day's wages).

Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End.

"You have been with me from the beginning" (John 15:27).

We use the expression "You had to be there" to describe the importance of someone knowing the whole story to put some detail into perspective. "You really had to be there."

Hello, I Must Be Going

"If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father" (John 14:28).

The title of this entry is a song from Groucho Marx. "Hello, I must be going" captures something of the frenetic comedy of the Marx Brothers, but it also speaks to the mystery of Jesus' brief time among us as a human being in history, and why he could not stay longer. Some believers wish he had stayed so we could have known him directly and so we would know exactly what to do under his direction.

I Have Chosen You

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last" (John 15:16).

Perhaps it is only in retrospect that we begin to understand that our lives have been shaped and directed by God's grace. Of course, we must make decisions, respond to opportunities, face adversity and seem to be guiding ourselves. But in the end, anything of lasting value we accomplish is revealed as pure gift, the result of being given resources and relationships that lift us up out of individual effort to something larger than we could ever have imagined.

Remain in My Love

"Remain in my love" (John 15:9).

Constancy is the secret of any enduring relationship, whether a friendship or a marriage. People who stay in love over time build familiarity into continuity, develop precious trust that comes from having survived together through the best of the times and the worst of times.

The Joy of Love

"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in them will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Get Ready

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27).

At this point in the 50-day Easter season, the Lectionary readings are already beginning to turn the corner from the celebration of Jesus' resurrection to his departure (Ascension, May 5) and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost, May 15).

Question Mark Gospel

"They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them" (Mark 16:20).

The last lines of Mark's Gospel are an appropriate tribute to him on his feast day as one of the evangelists who told the story of Jesus. Thought to be the first of the four Gospels, Mark's account lays the foundation of faith for the early Christian community. His Jesus is the most human, struggling within his own growing awareness of who he is and how the Spirit of God is alive and working within him to proclaim the Good News.