Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
We kept the decorations up until last week’s feast of the Epiphany. After all, that’s what the word means: to show, to make conspicuous, to shine.

The old man Simeon has been waiting for the messiah and here he comes in the arms of Mary. Simeon thanks God, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people, Israel.” (Luke 2:30-2)

We associate the three magi with the feast because they represent the Gentiles who “saw the star and then saw the light.” That’s a good reason to keep up the lights and the decorations.

A week later, the decorations are down and we begin “ordinary time.” Now the child in Mary’s arms is a man. This year it is Mark’s turn to tell us about what Jesus said and did. However, since Mark’s gospel is shorter than the others, it gets supplemented by John, and that’s why we hear from John today.

We hit the road running, so to speak, because we hear about Jesus picking the people who will walk with him, learn from him and ultimately be responsible for giving us the “good news,” the peo¬ple who handed on the faith to us.
For the next four weeks it will be Mark, all from his first chapter. When you sit down and read it you are almost out of breath. Mark has crammed so much in that short space, with Jesus choosing disciples, amazing people with his teaching, casting out demons, healing lepers and mothers-in-law. He began the work with forty days of prayer and continued the prayer even as he began his ministry.
Only five weeks out of Christmas time and Lent/Easter cycle will be upon us. We continue to hear familiar stories which never run out of the possibilities of new applications in our lives.

By the way, this year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure if I can do this but I’m going to take a chance. Since Ash Wednesday is a special day of fasting and abstinence from meat, I hereby decree that in Saint Sebastian parish, this year Valentine’s Day, shall be celebrated on Tuesday, February 13th.

It’s not that I don’t trust the guys, but since we tend to be last minute about stuff, I just don’t want anyone to use the excuse of Ash Wednesday for not doing cool and thoughtful Valentine observances. In fact, you could even give her the candy sometime THIS month so she won’t be burdened with it during Lent.

Using the word “ordinary” to describe the unfolding of the gospel story when it isn’t Christmas or Lent or Easter might be a little misleading.

In reality, I don’t think there is anything that is simply ordinary in the way we normally use the word. Something is ordinary, simply because we don’t pay a lot of attention to it.

If you take any “ordinary” thing or moment or even person, and stare at it/him/her long enough, you will find that he/she/it is extraordinary. It became that way because we honored and respected him or her or it. And it is in that extraordinary appreciation that we can discover who we are and what Jesus is calling us to be.

For myself, I pray that I can find the persistence to spend less time looking at me and more at the “ordinary” that surrounds me.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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