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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Gone Fishing: When Fish Bite Back

Many years ago, I shared a boat ride with a few brother priests on the Sea of Galilee. It is a freshwater lake. I tried to imagine myself on a more primitive boat with fishermen and the new prophet and teacher, Jesus. Some would call him, “Messiah,” but from the perspective of history and faith, I would call him, “Lord.” My momentary absorption was broken by the pilgrimage guide speaking about problems faced by contemporary fishermen. It seemed that some idiots had dumped piranha into the water and the wicked fish were flourishing, to the chagrin and financial downfall of those who made their living there. I pulled my hand that was lazily hanging over the side back into the boat. What would Jesus have made of that? Our Lord told his disciples that he would make them fishers of men. But, now the fish could bite back, both literally and figuratively. Like the interloper piranha, sometimes men resist the nets of the Gospel and the fishermen themselves become victims of the sea and their would-be catch: we call such fishermen by another name, martyrs. Of course, not everyone remains steadfast. Sometimes those who seek to spread the truths of faith are ill-equipped, either intellectually or spiritually. They become seduced or converted, themselves, either to religious falsehood or to the incomplete answers of a secular and/or atheistic modernity.