Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Like so many things in our lives, the last week of Advent disappeared as though it wasn’t important. It got crowded out of the calendar. Even the Leaflet Missalette company must have been having a bad corporate hair day, because they left the Fourth Sunday of Advent out of their booklets, too. That’s why we printed today’s Scriptures for you.

Whether we had a printed version or not, we did hear the words Luke’s gospel proclaimed: “Be it done to me according to your word.” 1:38

I was sitting here before the computer screen, messing around with the various colors and fighting with the margins in the title, really important stuff. Then...

I looked at the readings I was referring to above and really saw the words, “Be it done to me...” Never mind the colors and the margins.

Gears shifted, and I found myself wondering if I could ever have the courage to say that to the Lord, “Be it done to me,” ...and really mean it. Would I pause, wondering what He might do, and would I make my answer sort of conditional depending on how I saw things working out? Acting on a little faith, to say nothing of complete faith, almost seems beyond reach.

By all accounts, Mary was maybe around 15 years old when she and Gabriel met. Was she just a little immature girl, too naïve to even begin to understand what was going on? Had she any idea what she was saying?  Or... did she have the kind of closeness to God that left her open to the possibility of some extraordinary message from Him? After all, that’s what angel means: messenger.
What we celebrate tomorrow is the result of the “Yes” we heard Mary speak today. Fortunately, her “yes” was far more definitive than my hesitant wondering.

Her agreement opened the way for Jesus to come. Her agreement made possible our salvation from an unfinished sin-filled world. On top of that, her example challenges us to create environments for ourselves in which we can hear the Lord more easily, and maybe even find the courage to act on what we hear Him saying.

One of the nice things that is happening in my environment is the arrival of so many nice cards. They recall long-standing friendships and relationships. I search for the cards among all the appeals I receive from so many places, trying to empathize with so many needs. I have to pause sometimes and catch myself from being a little cynical about the appeals. Everyone’s need seems to increase around Christmas time. Yet I have tried to be understanding and put myself in the place of the person making the appeal. If this was my project or that was my need, I’d be reaching out to everyone I could. God, hasn’t helped me. He and the IRS just conspired to send me a refund on my 2016 taxes. (I filed in October.) What are you going to do?

Check the bulletin for next weekend’s Mass schedule. January 1 IS NOT A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION THIS YEAR. We’ll have two Masses: one at 11:30 p.m. so that we can pray in the New Year, and then one on New Year’s Day at 10:00 a.m. so in case anyone was out late the night before at something other than our midnight Mass, you’ll be able to sleep a little and still honor Mary on that great feast of her Solemnity!

My heartfelt prayers and hopes for you now and in 2018.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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