patmarrin's blog

Face to Face

Jul
09

"Someone wrestled with Jacob until the break of dawn" (Gen 32:25). 

Jacob was at a turning point in his life. To fulfill his destiny he had to return to his ancestral land and face his older brother, Esau, whom he had tricked into giving up the family birthright. He may have been grappling with his own conscience, but the deeper meaning of the night encounter with a mysterious stranger is that he is also wrestling with God. From that face-to-face contest, Jacob will emerge with a new name and a new destiny as the carrier of the promise made to Abraham and Isaac. 

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God Revealed

Jul
08

"What you have hidden from the wise and learned you have revealed to little ones" (Matt 11:25).

As Jesus began his preaching, he realized that so-called wise and learned people did not seem to be able to grasp the Good News of God's love. It was too simple and direct for them. They were expecting theological ideas they could analyze and debate, something more sophisticated to match their intellectual discernment. 

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Mercy, Not Sacrifice

Jul
06

"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do" (Matt 9:12).

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Choose Life

Jul
05

"I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living" (Ps 115).

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The Holy Spirit of Jesus

Jul
04

"What have you to do with us, Son of God?" (Matt 8:29).

When Jesus crosses the lake he enters pagan territory and encounters two possessed men living in a hillside cemetery.  He is outside Palestine, the territory of the Jews where his ministry is focused, but the universal scope of his message is shown in that the demons acknowledge that he is the Son of God and has power to drive them out. Evil Spirits bow before the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit.

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Jesus and History

Jul
03

"Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?"(Matt 8:25).

The story of the Jesus asleep in the boat during a violent storm at sea has been both a comfort and a challenge to the church in history, How often it must have seemed as if the risen Christ were absent in time of crisis or slumbering through a dark night when faith was at a low ebb. 

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Believe!

Jul
02

"Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe" (John 20:28). 

When the other apostles tell Thomas that they have seen Jesus alive, what he demands is not proof of the resurrection but of the crucifixion.  

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Back to Basics

Jul
01

"If we have died with Christ, we believe than we shall also live with him" (Rom 4:8).

The weeks of Ordinary Time for those in the northern hemisphere occur in the long summer months when life often seems to slow down, to be, literally, quite ordinary.  Yet the liturgy and readings are always rich in basic Christian formation. The more we understand just how natural it is to grow in faith, the more we can use this important time to participate in the patterns of life that shape our identity as Christians. 

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Nothing Is Impossible for God

Jun
29

"Lord, if your wish, you can make me clean" (Matt 8:2).

If there are parallel themes in today's reading and commemoration of the first martyrs of Rome, they focus us on God's paradoxical ways. Jesus' ministry attracts the poor, lepers, cripples, tax collectors and prostitutes. It seems an impossible beginning  for the arrival of the Kingdom of God, and it overturns every expectation for the promised Messiah. 

Abraham cannot keep from laughing when God promises him a son by Sarah. He is 100 years old and she is 90. How can this be?

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Founded on Mercy

Jun
28

"On this rock I will build my church" (Matt 16:16).

Imagine founding an organization and choosing for your first CEO a person who was known for boasting and then folding up in a crisis. Imagine appointing as leader someone who barely understood your purposes and was unprepared for the challenges the company would face after you left him in charge.  

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