Twilight Twitches

Fifth Sunday of Lent
Dear Family,
This “Twitch” is being written on Sunday evening in anticipation of the following Sunday, which-as you read-is probably today - AND we’ve lost an hour of sleep last night, so don’t worry if you feel confused... I am.

As I type, we are anticipating our Eleventh Annual Andy Hurst Memorial Fish Fry and Auction and preparations are in full swing. OurAuction committee – Susan Mansolillo, Dr. Lourdes Cowgill and Dr. Marlene Fayette-Cowgill – are putting in countless hours after their workdays procuring and preparing items for display. It’s a lot of work that is borne on too few shoulders. Please know, ladies, that your time, talent, and your treasure are genuinely appreciated.

Elli Hurst, our Fabulous Fish Fry Facilitator, will have shifted into full speed midweek. She has the ability to coordinate and prepare dinner for somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 people and make it look like a walk in the park… all this with a full time job that takes her out of town for days at a time. Thank you, Elli, and your team for (what I know will be) a wonderful dinner!

Liz Siegle, Colleen Benhayan, Fred Schmid, Connie Reed and their mini-committees all work to create an environment where folks can come and enjoy an evening with friends. Unfortunately, Monsignor Jim will still be recuperating and unable to join the festivities, but let's keep praying for his full recovery and return to his parish family. He joins me in expressing heartfelt thanks to all who volunteered and gave of themselves to make our 11th Annual Andy Hurst Memorial Fish Fry and Auction a success for our Parish Family.

Shifting gears now…

It’s hard to believe that Easter is only two weeks away. We’ve had about four weeks of Lent to look at our lives and see where we are in our relationship with the Lord. The readings from today’s Mass - especially the Gospel- offer us a lot to think about. The Gospel story today is one that fascinates me. First of all, the scribes and Pharisees bring the woman and make her stand in front of Jesus and the crowd gathered there. Scripture tells us that she was "caught in the very act of committing adultery". My first thought is how absolutely humiliating it must have been for her. Was she clothed? Where's the guy? It must have been rather awkward even to just be part of the crowd. What about Jesus, how did HE feel?

Scripture scholars over the years have theorized about what Jesus wrote on the ground. I wonder if maybe it was just a way to take the focus off of a person who was caught in a sinful act. Seemingly, when Jesus told the crowd, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her," they began to understand his message, and gradually walked away.

We are in the midst of a "Year of Mercy," declared by Pope Francis. He calls us to show mercy and forgiveness to all. So, how are we doing? We can see Jesus as the model of mercy in this Gospel story. He does not try to minimize the sinful act, but neither does he want the woman stoned to death or shamed any further than she has already been by the scribes and Pharisees.

"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she says. Jesus responds, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more."

In that short exchange, Jesus restores the woman's dignity and teaches us to hate the sin but love the sinner. It's important for us to think about how we treat our fellow sinners, that is to say our fellow human beings. Is our reaction to affirm each person as loved by God, or as one to be "condemned" for their deeds?

I'm glad there's still a few weeks left in Lent!
Blessings and peace,

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