Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
As I write this Twitch on Monday the 26th, it’s stunning to think that our Parkland heartbreak happened only 12 days ago. And yet it continues with an intensity that makes it feel like two minutes ago. I suspect you’ll be feeling the same way as you read this.

I remember the title of a book I read more than 50 years ago, Edwin O’Connor’s The Edge of Sadness. It’s not the book, but the title that describes me right now. I feel like I’m on the edge of a large pool filled with the roiling waters of sadness, almost too large to contemplate, the sadness of the shooting itself, kids’ funerals, blame games, political stupidity, social insensibility...for starters.

But I’m on the edge of the pool, not immersed in it. When you encounter darkness, hopefully you look for light. For me, there was shining encouragement in the nobility of the Olympians in victory or defeat; the memory of the wonderful explosions of light in the closing ceremony.

Even brighter is the light of the decision of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students not to quit until they have been heard and have brought about changes they so ardently seek. I tire of hearing people say, “Maybe this time.” Those kids will not let us get away with it, again. That‘s Light!

And then there is the Light of Lights! You heard it in today’s gospel verse, the famous John 3:16:
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.”
...the light of eternal life.
 
Sometimes, looking for light is hard. Things can be so overwhelming. that we don’t want to even think about “looking for light.” Remember Fr. Keller’s line, “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”? Some wag added, “But some damn fool keeps blowing out the candle.” The challenge is, will we let the fool win? We say Christ is our Light of Life. We remember who we are, and we hold to that light.

That light came at a price. Jesus knew that. He knew “sweetness” wasn’t guaranteed. All was not ‘sweetness and light’.

Some of his hearers were impressed with what he was doing and the signs he was working. We hear that very clearly today in John’s gospel. John pictures Jesus at the very beginning of his public life, throwing the merchants out of the Temple ar¬ea. “Stop making my Father's house a marketplace." (2:16) That had to be a great show-stopper.

The trouble was, Jesus knew that the people around him didn’t know themselves very well. One minute they would be glowing and appreciative, but in the next minute they’d move away for fear of what he might be really asking of them. John says,

“Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.”

He knows our good and our bad, and he came to save us from ourselves, so to speak. The question then becomes, “Will we let him save us?” “Will we choose light?”

We continue the Lenten journey, asking for the courage not only to choose light but to be light.
In the Son (Sun),
sign frjim

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