Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
I may have told you this story before and if so, enjoy going down memory lane with me again.

When I was a kid growing up in Holy Family parish in North Miami, our pastor was Msgr. Rowan T Rastatter. He was a great priest, a cigar smoker, a kind of ‘captain of the ship’ and you always knew he was in charge. So the last thing anyone ever expected was to see Monsignor cry. But every year, it happened twice. The first was on Catholic Charities Sunday, when he made the appeal on behalf of the charities of the diocese. Maybe it could be compared to our ABCD.

Monsignor was in charge of Catholic Charities. When I was a kid that included nearly the whole state of Florida. It was under that hat that he built Mercy Hospital and Holy Cross hospital. He also saw the needs all over the place and his reaction was genuine. He was a truth-teller about genuine need. (I suspect we were generous on that day.)

fetscherDear Family,
Last Monday someone remarked, “Yesterday was certainly a great day for St. Sebastian parish.” His reference was to our celebration of Confirmation.
What a pleasure to have Archbishop James P. Keleher to confirm thirteen of our brothers and sisters. We had five adults and eight teenagers. That may not seem like a lot, but it is the largest Confirmation group we have had at least going back Annie’s arrival 21+ years ago.

fetscherDear Family,
Presuming his permission, and because I am feeling less than inspired in the throes of a cold, I’d like to pass along a meditation that Fred Hanna, a professor of Music at Creighton University, wrote for the Daily Reflections publication of Creighton for today. (You can find them at Creighton Online Ministries.)

We are still basking in the joy of Easter as Luke reminds us of David’s promise, and the Lord’s promise, that someone (Jesus) would be raised and "exalted at the right hand of God.” Glory. And we are equally reminded in the psalm that “you will show me the path to life.”

fetscherDear Family,
In 1935, the first Mass was celebrated in front of the image of the painting of Divine Mercy. Sister (now Saint) Faustina Kolawska, was present. With her personal revelations from the Lord, we came to understand the devotion to the Divine Mercy. She was told to keep a diary of what she heard from the Lord. One notation read:

“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls. ... If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy.”

fetscherDear Family,
Here we are on Easter weekend. We hear the wonderful echoes of the Easter Vigil service with the new fire, the Easter candle and the blessing of the new water that recalls our own immersion into the Body of Christ (even if someone poured a little stream over our heads.) We heard Paul ask the Romans,

“Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? ...indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead ...we too might live in newness of life?”

fetscherDear Family,
Lent THREE, FOUR and FIVE: we heard the won¬derful stories: living water promised to the Samaritan woman; physical and spiritual sight given to the man born blind; life given to Lazarus. No wonder today that we hear the people shout “Hosanna!” For us, a heartbreaking knowledge underlays the shouts because in today’s liturgy, only moments after hearing about the hosannas, we hear Matthews’s version of the passion and death of the Lord.

It would be so easy to have an attitude about “those fickle people.” I found myself wondering how and about what I am “fickle.” Well, if I look at Merriam-Webster’s definition, I read “lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability: given to erratic changeableness.” I know I qualify least partially. The fear is that if I am fickle in little things, then what about big things. (Sounds almost biblical, doesn’t it?)

fetscherDear Family,
Irish Domincan Donagh O’Shea writes: Jesus faced death to give life to Lazarus. This is John showing us the meaning of Jesus' life, or applying the first brush-stroke in this scene.

An alternative (or more accurately, a disjunction) is not a paradox. Life or death is not yet paradox; the paradox is life in death. Johann Tauler (1300–1361) wrote: “If only we could seek joy in sadness, peace in trouble, simplici¬ty in multiplicity, comfort in bitterness! This is the way to become true witnesses to God.”

fetscherDear Family,
We met the woman at the well, and we saw the amazing change that let her drop her burden of being ostracized. She who was shunned became the way in which her townspeople met Jesus, and even kept him around. I wondered if I would be able to experience anything to the depth that she did that would cause me to radically change the way I act.

Today we meet the man born blind, a guy who got caught in the middle of a religious-political tension that nevertheless brought him more sight than simply his eyes could have ever given him. For us the question might be, ‘What are our blind spots?’

fetscherDear Family,
Today we would normally celebrate St. Joseph’s Day, a solemnity in the church. (That means it is a very important feast.) We celebrate St. Joseph tomorrow. The transfer makes the point that these Sundays of Lent are super-important. They are telling us an important story.  We began with the temptations of Jesus. Last week we heard about the Transfiguration. Every year those two events begin Lent no matter whose gospel we are reading. This year we are in cycle A with Matthew.

fetscherDear Family,
Who Do We Say He Is?
The question Father Bill Mason, OMI, brings us this week, ought to keep us busy for a while. I hope so, because the answer(s) we come up with have a lot to do with how we live our parish life. I’m musing on whether we want to come up with a single vision around which we can unite, or do we work along the lines of a stew to which everyone contributes. Both have their merits.

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