patmarrin's blog

Our Transfiguration

Aug
05

“Lord, it is good that we are here” (Matt 17:3).
 
Our hope for the personal and collective transformation that defies death is focused on Jesus. What happened to him is the promise we believe will also happen for us. Death will occur, even as it did for Jesus, but it will not claim us or separate us from the love of God. The question is how this will happen.
 
Today’s commemoration of the Transfiguration is a glimpse into the process that is the central theme of the New Testament and the heart of Christian formation.
 

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Aug
03

"And they took offense at him" (Matt 13:54)

A priest friend who ministered as a counselor in a small city said he knew it was time to move on when he knew too much about everyone. He couldn't go to a restaurant without running into couples who were stepping out on their spouses. He had had several generations in counseling from the same family and knew all the dark secrets.

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Cloud of Faith

Aug
02

"Only when the cloud lifted did they go forward" (Exodus 46:37).

During the long journey through the Sinai desert, and in particular after Moses receives the tablets of the commandments from God, he makes a kind of traveling structure called the "Dwelling" in the meeting tent. There he places the the Ark of the Covenant, which contains the tablets, and surrounds it with a curtain. 

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The Veiled Face of Glory

Aug
01

"Holy is the Lord our God" (Psalm 99).

God's presence in the Bible is manifested as light. Creation occurs when God says, "Let there be light." The brooding, shapeless waters of the void suddenly reflect the image of God mirrored on the face of the trackless wastes, and in that moment the divine image is imprinted on Creation. God, Source and Creator of all that is, continues to sustain the world  as the life-giving light within all things.

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The Scandal of Mercy

Jul
31

"The Lord is kind and merciful" (Psalm 103).

Whenever we find an interpretation of one of Jesus' parables, most scripture scholars believe that it is a later addition to address some issue in the faith community the gospel was written for.  Today's parable of the wheat and weeds is a good example.

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Parables of Growth

Jul
30

The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed ,,, like yeast" (Matt 13:31). 

The history of the church holds examples of every kind of growth and decline, failure, reform and renewal. When wealth and power threatened to corrupt the church, St. Francis of Assisi appeared and by his radical example was able to draw the institution back to Gospel ideals. In times of laxity and division, St. Ignatius of Loyola inspired a disciplined cadre of scholars and missionaries to bring fresh purpose and direction to the church. 

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The First Gift

Jul
29

"Do you understand all these things?" (Matt 13:51).

King Solomon was praised as the wisest man on earth because, when he was offered anything he wanted, he asked for wisdom. Proof of his wisdom was that because he asked for wisdom instead of a long life or riches or power over his enemies, he received all of those things as well.

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Word of Life

Jul
27

"Lord, you have the words of everlasting life" (Psalm 19). 

The strength of any culture or society can be seen in the way it uses language.  For the Jews, creation itself was the result of God's Word. Sacred language was the basis for reality and the right relationships that flowed from respecting the underlying structure of the world as an expression of God's design.

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Face Time

Jul
26

To anyone who has, more will be given ..." (Matt 13:13).

What would direct contact with God be like? The Scriptures offer several accounts of encounters between people and God. Adam is said to have spoken with God as they walked in the garden in the cool of the evening. This intimacy reflects a relationship before sin disrupted creation and estranged humanity from its Creator. 

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God's Grandparents

Jul
26

"This is the bread the Lord has given you to eat" (Exod 16:15).

Jesus had grandparents, and we acknowledge Joachim and Anne in today's liturgy. How often did Jesus' family join Mary's parents for meals and overnight visits? What did Jesus learn from his grandparents as he was growing up? These questions remind us of the depth of the Incarnation. God became one of us and shared in every aspect of human development. 

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