Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
I wasn’t really going for alliteration with my three S’s, but the words easily came to mind as I thought back over our Holy Week celebrations.

Today’s scriptures brought so much back. Amazing catches of fish; “now you will be fishers of men.” Peter bravely declares before the Sanhedrin, “we must obey God rather than men...”

In the book of Revelation, the prophet John explodes with his remarkable vision:
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea,
everything in the universe, cry out: ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.’"

And then there is the Lord asking Peter, “Do you love me?” Three times Jesus asks. Lambs, sheep, feed, tend. The words are all interchangeable. It’s not about the words. It’s about the penetrating repetition. Peter has got to be distressed right down to the marrow of his bones. Did the repetitions remind him? Did ‘three’ bring it all back? “Before the cock crows...”?

The book of Revelation had me soaring. The questioning of Peter seared me. If I were standing in front of Jesus, and he asked, “Do you love me?”, the first thought I’d have is “Why is He asking?” And then to be asked a second and third time... wow!

It wouldn’t help me much if Jesus had just given me a new Prius. (That would be my equivalent of a boatload of fish. Actually, I don’t need a new Prius, but you know what I mean.)

So where does that leave us? Well, maybe it’s a nice reminder that Peter’s “You know that I love you” is another way of our saying “I love you, too.”
When I have to say it three times, it makes me more deeply appreciate not only am I loved, but that loving back is a very special feeling as well.

Speaking of special feelings, I feel very good about our parish response to the Rice Bowls this year. You set aside $1,574.50 of which 414.50 were in coins (about 46 lbs. worth. Ask Annie.) The last of the big spenders rounded it off to $1,600. Catholic Relief Services is doing great work around the world, and hopefully our small drop can infuse their ocean of needs with some help.

In John 12:8, Jesus says, “You always have the  poor with you, but you do not always have me.” In the context of Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfumed oil, Judas objects because he says the money could have been used for the poor. We know what Judas wanted. If he had the money, he could steal it. Jesus blows off the critique and doesn’t reveal Judas’ bad intention. Rather he says that Mary is preparing him for his burial.

Jesus was trying to get them to understand what was going on. He was about to be put to death. His line, “You always have the poor with you” seems almost a shoulder-shrug reaction of Jesus. I don’t think we believe that’s what he meant at all. Rather, I think He was saying that the poor will always be there for us to be concerned about. He wasn’t going to be there and there was little time left for people to get the message. But you can never forget the poor.

There’s a lot for us to ponder during these 50 days of Eastertime. Mystagogy! Drawn into the mystery of love.

A very overdue thanks to Arnie Pittler for repairing our beautiful fountain which he put in originally for Msgr. Pat. New pump and new valves, and a joyful splash for all.
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