Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
“Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!”

That’s what it’s been about. That’s what it is about. That’s what it will be about.

One of the nicest experiences I have had in a long time was the time I spent with Molly Cowart, as she prepared to become our newest member. We baptized her (last night) at this year’s Easter Vigil celebration.

Among other resources, we went through a book called “Christ Among Us.” I still think it’s one of the best presentations of the Catholic Faith. It’s been around for fifty years, but went through numerous revisions and updates, so it has a very relevant freshness. But in my years, I’ve never had the pleasure of someone delving so thoroughly into the theology and history of the church as Molly did.

Each week I found myself saying to Molly (or to myself), “Did it really say that... in that way?” I may have known the information, but I didn’t always appreciate the depth or the perspective the author brought to a particular event or history.

Father Richard Sudlik’s very fine missions talks made a similar impression on me. He reshaped ideas in a way that made me more appreciative of what I believe. Justice, Mercy and Grace; Justice: getting what you deserve; Mercy: not getting what you deserve; Grace: getting what you don’t deserve. Father Dick got a chuckle out of my trying to remember those three lines. He said people often would come back and ask him to repeat it again. I thoroughly understood their problem. In my mind 2 and 3 were the same until I realized that grace was the whole enchilada, so much more than mercy in a specific case.
Molly and Father Dick both deepened my appreciation of just what the phrase, Jesus Christ is Risen, Indeed! really means to me.

For 20 centuries, the people who gathered around Jesus, and continue gather around him, try to be faithful proclaimers and examples of what we believe: Jesus Christ is Risen. In other words, he overcame the ultimate evil: death, nothingness, eternal aloneness.

As proclaimers, we don’t always do a good job. For nearly 50 years I’ve been saying to myself that if we were really doing a good job then the place would be jammed every Sunday, not just today or Chistmas.

But you know what? If we weren’t doing something right, the Holy Spirit would have bailed out a long time ago. And if that is true, then maybe the “Easter rush” is a way of that same Holy Spirit trying to get my attention, your attention, the attention of the casual passers-by.

In the very midst of writing this reflection, I received a note from one of our snowbirds winging her way back north. “Dear Monsignor Jim, Thank you for another memorable year of practicing the mystery of spirituality. How lucky Hans and I were to fall into this group of welcoming folks. (Frank is a star at making people feel welcome.) I will miss my morning Mass and coffee, laughter and friendship.” - Sandia and Hans Hasinack

“The mystery of spirituality...” Sandy hit it. We celebrate a mystery of love that makes no human sense. Being here helps us touch it. We best celebrate Easter by being Jesus for each other – and believing that we can be. May each gathering deepen our belief.

In our Risen Lord,
sign frjim

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