Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

My dear Sisters and Brothers,
“At that time Jesus exclaimed: I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.” We hear these words from Matthew at the beginning of the Gospel this weekend. They always seem to bring to mind a wonderful memory for me.

Way back, I think it was in 1979, I had the privilege of babysitting my godson, Kevin, and his little brother, Christian, for a weekend while their parents and older sisters attended a wedding. Kevin was 5 and Christian was 3. I decided we’d go to Colohatchee Park on Sunday afternoon, before the family returned to pick up the boys. So, equipped with drinks, balls, wipeits, and all sorts of other necessary items for dealing with little boys, off we went.

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My dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are into Ordinary Time in the Liturgical year, summertime, and the “slow season” when the roads and restaurants are more accessible. I think the temptation for many of us is to say, “Ho-hum, same stuff, different year,” and just float along.

However, the Church gives us a wonderful opportunity. During this slow season, after we have celebrated Easter, and before the cycle of Mysteries begins again with Advent/Christmas, we have something like twenty-four weeks to be slow and reflective. So, in case you need some material for reflection, I invite you to consider my ponderings...

fetscherDear Family,
As we move gently back into the ‘greenness’ of ordinary time, our liturgy brings us back to the cycle of St. Matthew’s gospel. I think about all the ‘ordinary’ things that make up our lives. At times, we might think that ordinary means boring. Same old, same old...

With Matthew, we’ll hear the stories of the encounters of Jesus with the rich and the poor, the blind of eye and spirit, the broken of body and mind. He heals, and when he heals he says, “these things are but stepping stones for you to join with me in the journey back to my Father.”

His understanding of his Father’s love, his acceptance of his Father’s will, brought him to the pinnacle of his Mission: the gift of his life. There is nothing very ordinary about what he did, and yet our faith gives us eyes to see and hearts to know that everything he did has now become our foundation, our ORDINARY. He calls us to make his love our mission, our ordinary way of living.

fetscherDear Family,
Today we celebrate the last of the feasts that form the wonderful array of celebrations surrounding the core event of our faith: the Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. As Paul says, if Jesus isn’t risen from the dead, our faith is in vain.” (I Cor 15:14) Next week we begin the Sundays of “Ordinary Time.” Does using the word ‘ordinary’ play down what comes now? In reality, it is our extra-ordinary way of living out what Jesus did for us and for living out what He wants us to do.

It’s not a boring reality; it is fundamental way of existing for the Christian disciple. Now, Jesus asks us to go out to live the good news that we have heard throughout Lent and Easter. We do it with the nourishment of the Body of Christ, and the power of his Spirit.

fetscherDear Family,
Summer must be here early because it is sure hot and humid. Obviously, summer didn’t get the memo about not coming until June 21st. At least perhaps we can stop the nonsense about denying climate change.

Another harbinger is trying to plan a vacation. Finally, I think today we got a holy man (or men) to care for your spiritual needs while I will be taking care of mine. That definitely falls under the heading of good news. When I have it confirmed I’ll tell you who it is; until then no way I’m going to jinx it. Too Irish, I guess...

fetscherDear Family,
I have stolen the following powerful thoughts from Irish Dominican, Father Donagh O’Shea. They appear in <http://www.goodnews.ie>
“The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. The feast of Pentecost is an annual invitation to the Church to consider itself and discover its soul. It is tempted, like all of us, to keep looking the other way.

In one sense, it is more natural to forget about one’s inner life and to get on with one’s work. If you are always worrying about your heart or your liver, etc., you will not take risks or do a lot of work. A healthy person just goes to it. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, and there is a sense in which that Spirit likes to work unseen, undeclared.

fetscherDear Family,
I found the following prayer on the website of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Heavenly Father,
On this Meorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom.
May the example of their sacrifice inspire in us the selfless love of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with your strength and peace.
In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end to violence and conflict around the globe.
We pray through Christ our Lord.
Amen

fetscherDear Family,
This is my second attempt at writing this week’s Twitch. The first was half-written when a virus of some sort attacked. I immediately called our trusty tech, Gary Thani, and he calmed my nerves and said, “Just shut it off and it will go somewhere else.” This was a hi-tech solution. Of course, if I had been saving my stuff you would still have the superlative prose that had flowed off my fingers. Instead, you’re stuck with this prosaic rewrite.

Do you ever just stop and murmur a prayer of thanks for some of the technology we have? Still, like so many things, it isn’t the product; it’s how you use it.

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.

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