patmarrin's blog

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).

God's Generosity for All

"Thus the last will be first, and the first will be last" (Matt 20:16).

Pope Francis, in his 2013 exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," emphasizes that the core of the Good News is that God is always merciful. It is the very nature of God to be merciful, to never cease offering unconditional love to us. We might grow tired of asking for mercy, the pope writes, but God never tires of being merciful.

Nothing Is Impossible for God

“This is humanly impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26).

Hands Up!

“Ezekiel shall be a sign for you” (Ezek 24:20).

The word “symbol” means “thrown together,” as is the case when multiple issues are conveyed in an image or gesture. For example, when we use water in baptism it becomes a symbol of death, new life and purification.

The Borderlands

“O Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish” (Matt 15:27).

Pope Francis, in his 2013 exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel,” says that a missionary impulse is constantly driving the gospel outward. When we stop sharing it or confine it to a comfort zone that serves only our group, the good news loses its zest and we lessen our own motivation. Like a tree, though the center is the source of strength and stability, the periphery is where all new growth takes place.

The Assumption of Mary

“My soul magnifies the greatness of the Lord” (Luke 1:46).

Why Forgive?

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?”

Jesus compares God’s great forgiveness with human reluctance to forgive much smaller offenses. God’s mercy is the basis for all other forms of mercy. What God gives abundantly and unconditionally, we should share freely with one another.

The Power of Three

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20).

No Child Lost

“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” (Matt 18:1).

The disciples must have had good reason to ask Jesus just who was the greatest in the kingdom he was preaching. They had seen again and again how he reversed the world’s idea of greatness, declaring that the first would be last and the last first, or that those ambitious to be leaders must be servants. They had even experienced it themselves as they jockeyed for position in following him, only to realize that he was serious when he said they were going to Jerusalem, where he would die.