patmarrin's blog

One Thing

Oct
09

"You are worried and anxious about many things. There is need of only one" (Luke 10:40).

The beautiful story of Martha and Mary is less about who is right than about focus, Both sisters love Jesus and are eager to show him hospitality. Jesus arrives with two hungers, for food and for welcome. Martha welcomes him with her attention to table and her skills in the kitchen. Mary welcomes him with her face, her eyes and ears and her heart. 

Posted By patmarrin read more

Who Is My Neighbor?

Oct
08

"Go and do likewise" (Luke 10:37).

By combining two of the most potent stories in the Scriptures, the Lectionary sheds fresh light on a familiar theme, the mercy of God expanding beyond our human prejudices to include everyone, even our enemies. 

Posted By patmarrin read more

New Wine

Oct
07

"He looked for the crop, but what it yielded was wild grapes" (Isa 5:3). 

The papacy of Pope Francis is summarized in his apostolic letter, Amoris Laetitia, "The Joy of Love." His central message is that God is merciful, and the most significant application of this message will be to get the church's most conservative hierarchy and theologians to open their minds and hearts to a different approach to the pastoral care of married people and families.

Posted By patmarrin read more

Woe to You

Oct
05

"If the mighty deeds done for you had been done for them, they would long ago have repented" (Luke 10:13).

Today's short Gospel continues yesterday's account of Jesus sending his disciples out to preach the Kingdom. The theme is one of intense urgency and the need for decisiveness. God is offering an incalculable gift, and today's message is a sharp warning to those who reject God's grace when it is being offered.

Posted By patmarrin read more

Harvest Time

Oct
04

"Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers..." (Luke 10:2).

In his masterpiece novel about the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens began with the words, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." It is the nature of history that every crisis is also a moment of great opportunity. Times of tragedy also produce enormous courage. Disasters purify motivation and force wavering, indecisive people to act in ways that will define them for the rest of their lives. 

Posted By patmarrin read more

Christ in Our Midst

Oct
03

"I will follow you wherever you go" (Luke 9:58).

To visit the Italian city of Assisi is to know the difference between being a tourist and pilgrim. The preserved sites of the life of the 13th century saint draw the visitor into an encounter with this extraordinary individual who was determined to follow Jesus in a radical and almost literal way. St. Francis uncovered the mystery of Christ in his brief life, and it was like exposing a light buried under centuries of historical accretion and distortion. In Francis, Jesus was again fully visible.

Posted By patmarrin read more

Angels Watching Over Me

Oct
01

"The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in the streets" (Zech 8:4). 

At a time when hope seemed like a distant dream, the prophet Zechariah tells the people of Jerusalem that God will restore Zion and fill the city of Jerusalem with peace.  One image of that peace is that children will play in the streets. It is an image from my own childhood, growing up in a neighborhood whre we could play ball in the streets into the early evening in the summer, until the street lights went on and our parents called us to come home. 

Posted By patmarrin read more

Late? Come On In!

Sep
30

"What is your opinion?  A man had two sons ..." (Matt 21:28). 

The spiritual journey of St. Augustine to God is beautifully captured in two quotes from his writings that bracket his response.  As a young man engaged in life's pleasures, he said to God, "Make me good, but not yet." Toward the end of his life and after his conversion, he lamented the years lost to sinful postponement: "Lord, late have I loved you." 

Posted By patmarrin read more

Intermission

Sep
21

Pencil Preaching will take a short break, resume posting by Sept 30. Thanks for your patience, and your support for this blog and for Celebration Publications.  

Posted By patmarrin read more

Feminine Genius

Sep
21

"Accompanying Jesus were th Twelve and some women ..." (Luke 8:2).

During a recent talk to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Pope Francis acknowledged that the church has moved too slowly to address the problem of the abuse of children and the transfer of problem priests to new situations where they abused again. 

Posted By patmarrin read more

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - patmarrin's blog