Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
We come back to Ordinary Time. Lent, The Sacred Triduum in Holy Week, Eastertime, Pentecost and Corpus Christi all led us to this moment. As I’ve been saying on Sunday, all those events set us up to enter into the real work Jesus gives us. It is our ordinary way of being, being his disciples.

For the fun of it, I went and looked up the word, ordinary, in the dictionary. The first thing Meriam-Webster mentioned was the title given to a bishop of a diocese. Then as you read on you get the sense that ‘ordinary’ isn’t such a great word. There was more commentary that made the word sound run-of-the-mill and mediocre.

I was kind of disappointed because I’ve been focusing on the idea that Jesus gave us word and example. He gave us a way of living. Not only did He do that, but He also have us himself in word, in making us a part of His Body through baptism, and then he gave us the extraordinary gift of Himself in the Eucharist. That’s what all our celebrations were about. I just said, “extraordinary gift of Himself.”

Maybe that’s the way of thinking about it. He has made Himself a part of the order of our lives. He asks us to be a part of Him each and every day. He asks us to be Him for each other. He wants it to be our normal, regular, expected, ordinary way of being.

It sure is a mystery. But I won’t think of that mystery as anything but the normal way Jesus wants to be a part of every fiber of our being. For me ordinary will be a comforting encouragement to keep trying the best I can to be a normal, regular, committed disciple.

My other much smaller mystery this week lies in our crepe myrtles that are on each side of the entry way to Msgr. McDonnell Center. Look at them. The east crepe myrtle is exploding with flowers. It’s mate on the west side of the entry has no flowers at all, although the greenery seems fine. Same fertilization, same watering - or lack thereof in the last weeks. Is this an ordinary mystery, or an extraordinary mystery?

Thursday is The Fourth of July. We will celebrate our 8:00 a.m. Mass in the Main Sanctuary with the hope that you will come and join your sisters and brother in thanking God for our country. We will pray for our country and all who seek to make us the “shining city on a hill.”

These are not the easiest of times in our country, but I feel it would be so sad to become cynics about the bad and miss the chance to celebrate the good.

I did a little historical search and found John Winthrop’s sermon to the people who were sailing to settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. In a very beautiful encouragement he said,
“for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us;...”

Those are not typos. It’s 17th century English. Winthrop was recalling Matthew 5:14; “you are a light to the world, a city on a hill.”

Then in 1980 Ronald Regan often referred to the quote and added “shining” to the phrase. He saw the country as a shining city on a hill.

Indeed, in a world where it always seems someone is trying to blow out your candle, more than ever we must be light, as disciples of Jesus and citizens of a great country. We don’t need re-making. We need extraordinary ordinary focusing.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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