patmarrin's blog

A New Way of Life

May
22

"It is better for you that I go, for if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you" (John 15:7).

Jesus' departure in his death, which for John is also his ascension and the sending of the Spirit, is necessary for his disciples to experience his presence in a new way. As long as he remains, they are focused on him and a mission only he is able to accomplish.

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The Cost of Discipleship

May
21

"The hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God" ( John 16:3). 

When Paul crosses over from Asia Minor to Macedonia, he makes contact with the Roman colony of Philppi. This will  begin his ministry in a more expansive way until he finds himself in Rome, by way of arrest and transport there to be judged by the emperor because he claimed his right as a Roman citizen.  But this transition will have deadly consequences for both Paul and Peter and for most of the apostles, who were martyred for the faith. 

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Being Christ in the World

May
20

"Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope" (1 Pet 3:15). 

With this Sixth Sunday of Easter, we sense the shape of this long 50-day Easter season as guiding us to the Ascension and then Pentecost. The Jesus of history who lived and died in the first century passes his identity and ministry to the early church. With his departure, they, and now we, become his living presence and activity in the world.

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The Peace of Christ

May
15

“Not as the world gives peace do I give it ” (John 14:28).

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Formed by the Word

May
15

"Whoever loves me will keep my word" (John 14:24). 

We honor someone by saying that he or she "keeps his word." Integrity is about being consistent in word and action. People build their lives around the words spoken to them by someone they loved and trusted. A short mantra or passage of poetry is learned "by heart" and carried like a compass through the storms of life. 

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Living Stones

May
13

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

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I Am With You Always

May
11

"Do not let your hearts be troubled" (John 14:1),

Jesus gave his farewell address to his disciples at the Last Supper, the night before he died.  It is understandable that they were deeply upset at the prospects of life without him. He spoke about returning to his Father and about their mission to proclaim and live his message of love to the world.

The shock of his departure affects them profoundly.  "Where are you going?" they ask. "How will we find you."  How can we know the Father you have spoken about?"  "What will happen to us when you are gone?"

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We Are Sent

May
11

"If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it" (John 13:17).

One of the key dramas in the Gospels is the moment of transfer from Jesus to his followers. Disciples--those who learn-- must become apostles--those who are sent. Like the millions of young people graduating from high school and college this month, the real test of education is if it has prepared us to act. 

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We Children of God

May
09

“Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me” (John 12:45).
 
We commemorate today St. Damian of Molakai (1844-1889), who gave his life to serve a leper colony on a remote island among the Hawaiian islands. When he discovered that he had contracted the disease, he began his sermon with the words, “We lepers…”
 

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Listen

May
09

"My sheep hear my voice: I know them and they follow me" (John 10:27).

Spiritual hearing is one of the keys to discipleship. The most important commandment for Jews is "Hear, O Israel..." Many of the psalms are about listening, being fully attuned to the whispering voice of God. The prophets rail against those "who have ears but do not hear."  Jesus heals the deaf, restoring them to the community of hearing as a sign of this deeper necessity of spiritual listening.

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