Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
On top of all the other things we celebrate today, Happy Valentine’s Day. There’s all kinds of history about the day, but I think I just want to think about people willing to offer their love to one another. Hopefully we don’t limit it to one day, but maybe one day will help us sharpen our skills on all the other days.

Today we are welcoming Father Tom Boyer for our Lenten parish retreat. For those of you who are reading this Twitch early online before the weekend, stop this minute and say a prayer for Tom and for all of us who come to be refreshed.

As I’ve said before, I’m so happy I finally was able to get a parish retreat at the very beginning of Lent. Hopefully this can be a year where we really can focus on the Lord’s gift of hisdeath for us, and His Resurrection that restores us to eternal life.

Like Jesus, we enter into a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer. He prepared for His mission to us. We now spend 40 days reflecting on the gift He gave us. We pray that we can shake off all the accumulations that weigh us down and keep us from being as grateful as we would wish.

There are lots of things that keep us “plodding” along. But if it is any consolation, listen to what happened to Jesus. After he has prepared for his mission the devil is already at work trying to undo what the Spirit accomplished.

There’s a good footnote about the temptation of Jesus in the New American Bible we read at Mass each week. The note comes on Mt. 4:1-11, but Luke and Matthew are almost identical when they tell the story of Jesus’ temptation. “Jesus, proclaimed Son of God atHis baptism, is subjected to a triple temptation. Obedience to the Father is a characteristic of true sonship, and Jesus is tempted by the devil to rebel against God, overtly in the third case, more subtly in the first two. Each refussal of Jesus is expressed in language taken from the Book of Deuteronomy (Dt 8:3; 6:13, 16).

The testings of Jesus resemble those of Israel during the wandering in the desert and later in Canaan, and the victory of Jesus, the true Israel and the true Son, contrasts with the failure of the ancient and disobedient “son,” the old Israel.

In many ways I think we could say that the temptations Jesus experienced are ones we can understand as well. But before you spend too much wondering about food, or position in life, or testing God by ignoring him, don’t get lost in the weeds. The real issue is the devil using anything he can to fundamentally distract you from focusing on God’s love for you. Period!!!

So, we say, “Jesus, through our prayer and fasting and helping the poor in these days of Holy Lent, help us to sharpen our understanding of just how much you have loved us, do love us, and will love us tomorrow.”

Last Sunday, I forgot to tell you that we are $11.00 OVER our 2016 ABCD goal. What comes in now are funds we are able to use in the parish for our outreach works, etc. Last year our overage was $27,000+. You will recall that a couple of weeks ago, Mary Wood, our Finance Chairperson, pointed out how important that overage is in the summer time when our intake doesn’t come close to meeting our outgo.

Believe me, when I thank you for your generosity, I really mean it. Blessings on the heads of all the members of the St. Sebastian Aviary who helped. God bless all my birds, sunbirds, snowbirds, peacocks and who knows, perhaps even an emu or two. (In addition to Christmas and Easter, emus often check in for ashes and palms. Be extra nice if you sight one.) Here we go! Happy Lent,

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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