Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Annie is away for a well-deserved break. The real test will be to see if the parish is still here when she returns. With the help of some faithful folk I think we are making it.

There is so much that has happened in our lives that I hardly know what to write here. The Las Vegas horror brings up a lot of feelings. We continue to pray for all the people who were afflicted. Hopefully, we continue to discuss the place of guns in our society. As a number of people have remarked, “If not now, when?”

Many years ago, there was another incident. I can’t remember exactly what or when. It was probably the early eighties. I do remember that it was around Holy Week. My good friend and former pastor, Father David Russell preached in his powerful, frequently dramatic, and always Christ-filled fashion about guns and the role they play in society. Relevance? How many scriptural quotes do you need that speak to the issue of peace?

Dave asked people to give up their guns. He designated Good Friday as the day for turning in guns if people wanted to, and he started the ball rolling by placing a gun he had on the altar. Some other people joined him. It made a splash in the secular news. It was hard to measure the broad impact, - today’s headline is tomorrow’s lost memory - but I don’t think anyone who was there was likely to forget it. It still comes up in conversation 30+ years later. Hopefully, and more to the point, people gave thoughtful and prayerful consideration to just what place guns should have or need to have in our society. That’s what Dave asked them to do.

It’s kind of fun, even if it is a bit of black humor, to watch the poor politicians jumping around the issue like ‘cats on a hot tin roof.’ No matter what they say, someone will criticize them. It’s too bad that they seem to have to announce their intentions not to run for reelection before they speak more courageously.

I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that sometimes I have felt like one of those hot-footed cats when trying to figure out just what the gospel has to say about the burning issues. Am I just being politically correct? Will it be bad for collections? Strike that last thought. I have never pulled my punches for a collection and I think enough of the people I pastor to know they can see the Church needs, – even if they are not sure about the weird holy man...

I do worry about people not simply knee-jerk reacting to questions like gun control. As a Catholic person, you are committed to asking yourself, “What would Jesus do?” ...or say? ...or ask? Don’t we believe that his works and words have a bearing on the way we live each moment? Well, this is one of those moments.

Two weeks ago, I was booked on a flight to Maine to visit a dear friend. At the last minute I had to cancel the journey because of an inner ear infection (apparently). I spent the week trying to stop walking into things. I also saw the coverage of the LV horror. At least a network (CNN?) took the time to find the pictures of each of the people who had died and simply commemorate them – much like the PBS Nightly News Hour did over the years with our service men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. We must never lose sight of the human faces that are a part of the story of the rips and tears in society’s fabric.

Speaking of life, don’t forget to bring stuff for the ‘baby shower’ box in front of the pulpit. The list is in this bulletin. It’s another way of letting our actions reflect our words regarding respecting life, whether the new-born or concert-goers in a park.
May it all be in Jesus,
sign frjim

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