Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
LENT It’s hard to believe Ash Wednesday arrives this week. No Meat for everyone over 14, and fasting for those 14-59. Also, there’s no meat on all the Fridays of Lent. How often I have said to you or myself in the past, “Let’s all go and make the sacrifice of having a lobster on Friday since we can’t eat meat.”

Somehow, we know that doesn’t quite meet the call to do the kinds of things that help us remember who we are, namely people who repent of our sins and believe in the gospel. Those are the words that come with the ashes. We mark our heads with the ashes to remind ourselves that our destiny is with the Lord. It’s the earthly existence that comes from ashes and re¬turns to them.

Don’t forget what we heard from Teilhard de Chardin last week: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Jesus, risen from the dead, guarantees that spirituality. When he became man and died and rose again, he made us the spiritual beings that aren’t defined by ashes but are glorified by grace.

While you still have three days, take a minute right now and just ask yourself if there is some special action you can do during Lent that will help bring you back to your core “spiritual being.” Whether it’s giving something up or doing something extra, whatever it is, just something that’s a little break in your normal routine.

As I’m writing, I’m thinking to myself, “OK, hotshot, what are YOU going to do or give up or whatever?” I’m not sure yet, but I promise you I will figure it out before Ash Wednesday. The one thing that will guarantee that promise is now all of you know I’ve got to come up with something. Nothing like a little public scrutiny to keep you honest. Don’t you wish that worked every-
where....?

ABCD I am stunned at our response to this year’s ABCD, the annual ArchBishops Charity Drive. Our goal was $105,383 and we have reached $121,024. For those of you who have fun with it, that’s 114.8% of our goal.

We will be able to receive back the 14.8% and take our¬selves on a Caribbean cruise. Well, okay, maybe we can float a canoe out the inlet in front of the rectory.

Seriously, I think our concern to reach out to others in the ABCD before we dealt with our own budget and needs, has been a blessing for us. I want to tell you a secret that perhaps it’s okay to share now. Some of you remember Marti Huizenga. She was a parishioner and insisted on remaining in the background. She generously supported ABCD and it always made the difference in making our goal. After both she and Wayne went to the Lord, it was kind of natural to wonder what would happen. Last year we didn’t quite make it.

This year, it’s as though Marti sent word to some very generous folk, and they stepped forward to fill her space. I want you folk to know that you occupy a very holy space and believe, me, it’s about a lot more than $$$. Thank You in the name of the poor who the Arch¬diocese reaches through these efforts of ours. You’re making it possible.

I wanted to say something about Arnold Abbott. As our sunbirds and snowbirds know, Arnold was dedicated to feeding the hungry, and managed to annoy a lot of people in the process. I sent him a contribution a few years ago because I thought he was trying to do the right thing and I got back a really nice note. The city passed ordinances about where public outreach for feeding could take place. Arnold pretty much ignored them, and the city didn’t enforce the ordinances be¬cause it made them look bad. They were certainly be¬tween a rock and a hard place. There are no grinches in this story.

My one hope is that our community can enshrine Arnold Abbott in our memories by continuing to work in every way we can to feed the hungry. That’s why you bring groceries every week to the baskets at the Church doors and why we support Hope, South Florida. Thank you, Lord, for Arnold. He surely sees you face to face.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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