Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Last Sunday my brother and sister-in-law, Pete and Carolyn came for Mass and lunch and then we sat in the rectory for another hour and talked some more, something we just don’t do often enough. Among other things, we talked about how age is giving us evolving perspectives about things. I’m sure that idea is no revelation to a great majority of you at St. Sebastian.

I mention it here, because as I looked over the scriptures for today’s liturgy - remember I am writing this last Monday the 9th, our conversation came rolling back. For some reason, Romans struck me in what seemed to be new ways. I knew the words, but they meant more...

“hope does not disappoint...”
“the love of God has been poured out in our hearts...”
“while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

That sure seems like very good news to think about as we go through all the preoccupation with the coronavirus and the like. (By the way, buy stock in Purell. We got a case.)

Exodus told us today that God can make water flow from rocks, even in the face of a grumbling people. That sounds encouraging as we pray for the living waters of healing that the Samaritan woman wanted. It turned out she got a whole lot more, and we should expect no less because that’s what God promised.

One way we know we are in the flow of God’s love is if we let him use us. That’s what those two purple banners flying on either side of our entrance circle are all about: The PFA Challenge. PFA, the holy works of Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

I know many of you took the Rice Bowls to put on the dining room table. You can put change as well as maybe the price of one meal a week in those cartons and bring the carton it back on Palm Sunday. We send the money to Catholic Relief Services for their great outreach around the world.

But don’t forget the other parts of Prayer and Fasting. It’s not too far into Lent to pick a time to prayer over a bible verse each day. Go look for that old prayer you have someplace and rediscover a prayer that meant something to you. Do you have a stack of memorial cards for folks who have died? Get them out and pray for those folks anew.

The fasting, the “giving up something” for Lent, tries to jar us out of our normal ruts. Did you ever think about fasting from some activity? The fasting from what you are used to doing creates space for something else. Doing something different – or not doing something, leaves us room to see something from a different perspective.

I’ve mailed in my March ballot, so I am now fasting from politics. (These days all I do is get mad, anyway.) I’ll take that time, like I said a couple of weeks ago, to look through some notes of thoughts I’ve recorded during some past retreats.

If all this sounds very holy, don’t be fooled. If it’s any consolation, much of my personal expectations are very aspirational on many days. But... we work while the light lasts...

Some of you who feasted at our 60th anniversary dinner at Tropical Acres may remember that you took the time to write a few thoughts about a good memory in your parish life, and also what you hope can happen in the next 60 years. Ed Rebholz, our new Men’s Club leader, took those thoughts and suggestions and did a nice job of summarizing them. I have all your notes and his summary sitting on my desk. From time to time I’ll share them. I really appreciate all of you who took the time to write on that wonderful night.

Be Creative with your FPA Challenge!!!

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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