patmarrin's blog

Plant a Tree Today

"Consider the fig tree and all the other trees" (Luke21:29).

One of the first things Pope Francis did after arriving in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday, was to plant a tree. The restoration of the Earth, our common home, begins with a simple and yet profound sign of hope, the planting of a single tree whose full lifetime will reach far into the future, even beyond our own earthly lives.

Thank You

"Stand up and go; your faith has saved you" ((Luke 17:19).

The story of the 10th leper is ideal for the holiday of Thanksgiving. Gratitude opens us to God and to the people in our lives who have blessed us. That openness is itself a gift, for to live life with the "attitude of gratitude" is to constantly remind ourselves that everything is a gift, even the adversity that teaches us compassion for others.

The Handwriting on the Wall

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives" (Luke 21:19).

A New World Coming

"See that you are not deceived" (Luke 21:8).

Today's gospel reading in which Jesus says that the Temple will be destroyed and great cataclysms will shake the world is a favorite of apocalyptic hucksters. But Jesus is actually discounting endtime predictions and warning his disciples no to listen to the doomsayers. Do not follow them. Do not listen to them.

Widow's Prayer

"This poor widow has put in more than all the rest" (Luke 21:3).

In this mean season of political debates, some candidates will focus on welfare recipients as the biggest problem the country faces. While they conjure up able-bodied men who refuse to find jobs, the largest demographic of people in need of assistance are single women, children and the elderly. Among the elderly, the most vulnerable group are widows.

God's Paradoxical Glory

11-22-15 Christ the King

“Are you the king of the Jews?” (John 18:33).

We note that in his encounter with Pilate, Jesus never directly answers the question about whether he is the king of the Jews. John’s account suggests that Jesus and Pilate are talking on entirely different levels. Pilate represents imperial power, Roman authority over the Jewish nation and the puppet king, Herod. Any other claims to royal power in Palestine at the time were subject to Roman force, since the emperor was worshiped as a god exercising total control over his conquered subjects.

The Hour of Our Visitation

“Jesus wept over the city, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41).

There are two times in the gospels where Jesus weeps. One is at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, and the other is over the city of Jerusalem. Lazarus was dead, and Jesus would call him back to life; Jerusalem was dying, and Jesus wept to see that its rejection of God’s offer of peace would lead to its destruction, which occurred in the year 70 during the Jewish Roman war.

Use It or Lose It

"I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away" (Luke 19:26).

Come On Down!

"Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house" (Luke 19:6).

For devotees of classic television game shows, the phrase "Come on down!" was how contestants were summoned from the audience on "The Price is Right." When their names were called, they jumped out of their seats and ran down the aisle to the stage, where they competed with other contestants to guess the price of luxury items being offered.

The Face of Jesus

"What do you want me to do for you?" (Luke 18:40).

(Stare for 30 seconds at the image with today's reflection, then look at a blank surface. What do you see? Was this what the blind man in today's Gospel saw after he was healed?)

The Lectionary brings us again the familiar story of the blind man who has to shout his prayer over the din and dismissive abuse of the crowd in order to get to Jesus.