Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
The first thought that hits me this morning is to thank Sue and Scott Martinez (the Martinis) for their dispositions. There is no doubt that I like their pancake breakfasts, but I also like the way they do it. One of the warming ovens in the present serving area seems to be inhabited by gremlins who must live up north and just pop in occasionally. It just quits. Then Scott talks to it in gentle tones (ok, maybe not so gentle,) and it works again. And they just get on with it.

They are always here the Saturday morning before pancakes to get things ready and begin cooking sausages and such. And they gather like-minded people around them to serve. They make ministry look easy.

There are many people like that in the various nooks and crannies of the parish and I thank them as well. Last Monday morning, the gospel was from Mark 8:11-13. It came after the sad story of Cain and Abel. As I mentioned to the folks who were there, the gospel gave me chills up my spine and they weren’t good chills.

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

“He sighed from the depth of his spirit... Then he left them...”

We keep forgetting that Jesus was a man like us “who shared our human nature in all things but sin,” as Eucharistic Prayer IV reminds us.

Wow! Could you imagine yourself standing in front of the Lord, and he looks at you, sighs, and leaves? You see what I mean about chills?

Now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, I realize that I’m surrounded by a lot of people who Jesus isn’t sighing about. Maybe he has a raised eyebrow or two, maybe a bemused smile on his face, but He isn’t leaving. We’re still ‘engageable.’

So, I’m going to hang around the folks Jesus isn’t leaving, counting on the fact that He isn’t sighing at anyone here. Not only that, but this bunch is making me look good. In turn I might also be inspired enough to see the picture for what it is, and try to do what the people around me are doing for someone else.

What are the people around me doing? For starters, they’re smiling. It goes back to the disposition thing I mentioned at the start of the Twitch.
I’m not what you’d call a morning person and now that I’m 75, I’m not much of an evening person either. I figure that leaves me about 45 minutes in the middle of the day when, left to my own devices, I might be nice... UNLESS someone comes up with a smile and a hello that does nothing but call the best out of me... at any time.

(In that group, I do NOT include the ones who come up and ask, “Are we having a good day?” Who is “we?” Or the one who comes up and says, “SMILE!” In my head, I’m saying, “I AM smiling.” Talk about sabotaging a good mood...)

These are unsettling times. It’s too easy simply to blame the media. There is the illusion that some¬how if I can turn off a TV it all goes away. We seek the antidote of calm in our public discourse. It begins with our own ‘close encounters.’ Maybe we ought to take up pancake-making. I doubt seriously that Jesus would leave anyone who can make a good stack of them.
In His Holy Name,
sign frjim

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