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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: The Biggest Fish Story Ever Told

Fishing entails real work, but there are extended periods of rest or inactivity. In my own reckoning, I have always associated it with finding buried treasure. The fish are hidden under the water and are acquired at the end of a baited hook or net. What we do or do not get is received as a gift, and if plentiful, a welcomed surprise. When something really huge is caught, we have the makings of “a big fish story.” The Good News of Christ represented the greatest story that mankind had ever heard. It was also one filled with surprises. While fish stories tend to get bigger or more far-fetched with each telling; the truth of Christ’s message exploded way beyond the capacity of the words we might find to convey it. God loved us and wanted to forgive our sins. The time for healing the breach between heaven and earth had come. Jesus was Emmanuel or God come down from heaven to save us. Even as Jesus was rejected, he would offer his life in atonement for our sins. Jesus would redeem us from the devil and conquer both sin and death. Jesus would overcome the grave and give us a share in his resurrected life. There was just no topping such a story. Of course, the analogy with fishing falls apart. The great treasure is not so much associated with fishing for souls as it is in the bait that is given to us or the counsel as to where to throw our nets. Just as in baptism where we are submerged or die with Christ so that we might live with him; there is a level of risk and trust in baiting our hooks or nets with Christ in the hope that we might catch others for the faith. We have to trust the bait and the counsel given. If we fail to live out the faith we profess with our lips, only going through the motions, we might find ourselves with empty or torn nets. The bait that we relied upon might itself be found lost from our hooks. Then we would have nothing.