Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
One good thing about this unending hot clammy summer: it will be a great excuse to have a very cold beer (or two) on Friday night as we gather for our brauts and good stuff for another Oktoberfest. (Just don't drive!)

I think we should use the some of the proceeds to help with relief for the people and parishes affected in the hurricane Michael's path. We can add those proceeds to our special collection for them. The Archbishop told me the whole archdiocese will join to help and we'll be part of that effort. In advance, my heartfelt thanks to the Oktoberfest team who prepare the "fest." They will help us extend our hearts and hands in Christ's name to afflicted folks in the panhandle.

As I have remarked in the past, events like Michael always try our emotions, at least mine. I have very vivid memories of Andrew in 1992. South Miami-Dade county looked much like the pictures we are seeing of places like Mexico Beach. My own parish was badly affected. We "hunkered down" in the rectory. (That's a phrase I'm beginning to think might mean I was stupid.) For a year, raindrops pelting a window would make be jump.

There are a lot of suffering people in the storm's aftermath who the Lord sees with the same eyes that saw the suffering of His Son. Our hope and prayer is that they will rise with Christ, not only to rebuild, but to revive. What's the song we sing? It's a version of the 23rd psalm with the line "...(the Lord) will revive our drooping spirits." I expect crushed is covered along with 'drooping.'

Once again, we are faced with the challenge of "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Once again, although you can have answers, you never really come up with THE Answer. "People should have evacuated." "We need better building codes." "It'll never happen to us." On and on.

Some lines from today's scriptures certainly seem to be well timed. And perhaps they convey a sense that God knows what we are experiencing. In Isaiah today, we hear about the suffering servant again. "Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering my servant shall justify many,..."

In Hebrews we read, "...we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weak-nesses..."

In Mark's gospel, James and John ticked off the other disciples by asking to sit on either side of Jesus when he came into his glory. Jesus said, "You do not know what you are asking." He knows that they are going to be baptized with a baptism of suffering. Only much later will they finally understand.

But my point is this: for me, at least a part of THE Answer is that "HE KNOWS." He knows what we are going through. Once again, I quote Father John Fullenbach's personal creed:

  • I am loved unconditionally.
  • I am forgiven completely.
  • I am never alone.

So, perhaps through our prayers and whatever physical assistance we will offer we can find some comfort in knowing we are a part of Christ's healing.

I hope to see you Friday night and I know Elli and the team will once again have made us glad we have each other with whom we break bread and chomp braut and quaff a brew.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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