Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
So, tell me. Is any time really ordinary? Today is the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Did you miss the first nine? We had six of them before Lent way back in January and February. Lent and Easter came and weeks seven through nine just happened, hiding under Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi Sundays. Finally, today the tenth Sunday emerges proudly in its own right!

You must think that either I’m desperate for subject material or I’m nuts if you have read this far. My point in bringing this stuff up is that the cycle of events that we celebrate throughout the year are at the core of the rhythm of our Christian life.

Beginning back in Advent, we heard that there was good news: a savior is coming. Christ is born. We celebrate his birth and his manifestation to the whole world (i.e. the three magi or wisemen symbolism.) We have a few ordinary Sundays that recount the words and actions of Jesus. But depending on the calendar we soon launch into the Lent/three holy days/Easter cycle. Jesus gives himself up for us and then rises to return to the Father to prepare a place for us.

Then comes today, ordinary tenth Sunday. We resume the all-important story of the words and actions of Jesus. This year our tour guide is Mark with a little of John thrown in.

When we hear what Jesus said and did, we get a model of how He wants us to act. If we can hear him and walk with him, we are learning each ordinary day how to expect and experience the absolutely extraordinary destiny that is ours. How? Do what He did.

Over the years you’ve heard me say this sort of thing before. At least I hope you did. There’s a little more, however that comes as part of the package. It might be the most important part.
 
The scriptures and the gospels we are hearing, we’ve heard before - some of us a lot of times. But the critical issue is that we have never heard them in quite the same way we hear them today. We are different from last year. We have changed - a little at least. (If you haven’t, ask someone to bury you because you’re dead.)

That’s what makes our “ordinary” very extraordinary. What am I doing with this precious moment that God gives me right here and now? Right now is when I am experiencing that love. It’s not a memory of his love but an active right here-and-now love, different from every other time I knew God’s love, different in some special way from all the other moments I have lived. Hearing that a moment is ordinary doesn’t mean ‘dull.’ If ordinary means dull, it sure is the wrong word to use about dynamic love. That’s the only kind God has.

It’s like something I often say at weddings: “All of us have been invited to see something that has never happened before and will never happen again in the billions of years of the earth’s existence: these two people make an extraordinary promise to each other, and we were privileged to hear them do it. What an extraordinary thing to happen in what might seem to be such an ordinary moment." (Sometimes, I think I read a thought on the faces of some of the guests: “How many more of these do I have to go to this year?” ...Or maybe they’re just bored by my homily.)

So, if I sound a little “nuts” today, make mine almonds wrapped in a Hershey’s kiss. (I had a little bag of those little addictive substances to ease me through my transition to “ordinary.”)

I am still appreciating the wonderful anniversary celebration you all had for my 50th. I’ll be remembering it as one powerful “ordinary” moment for a long time!

May we always be
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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