Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Strive! Onomatopoeia is one way a poet can create sounds in a poem. So says Siri when I asked. I heard today’s gospel about getting into heaven, and the word Jesus uses, according to Luke, is strive. If you say it a little forcefully, you get a sense of energy and movement. But Luke didn’t write in English.

So, I cracked my (dusty) Greek New Testament, and sure enough there it was: ‘agonizomai.’ That’s even stronger. You can see the roots of the word agony there. So, the point is, Jesus really stresses that you need energy to get to the Kingdom and then INTO the Kingdom... and it ‘ain’t‘ easy. When Jesus says the way is narrow, it’s not the number trying to get through that makes it hard. I think Jesus means everyone has their own narrow door. Getting through to heaven takes dedicated attention and consistent strength.

If you got lucky today, I might have said that the whole homily is in that last paragraph. Read it and you can go home quicker. BUT I suspect I won’t, and I suspect you didn’t get your hopes up.

With better luck, hopefully Annie got away this past week for a well-deserved (and too short) break. Why hopefully? Well, I’m writing this Twitch on Friday, August 16th, so the bulletin can go to press early. Once again, I’m wondering what will happen in the next nine days between my writing and your reading. The abundance of bad seems to underline the absence of good.

I find myself wondering what the tragedy/horror/outrage of the day might be. I don’t have control over the future. If I don’t have control, why care? Right? No, that’s the point. I don’t want to get used to thinking like that. I want to be able to notice the good that is happening around me.

I do have a very powerful relationship with tomorrow. I don’t control tomorrow, but I sure can Strive to influence my little universe with that good. I won’t try to measure my success. simply Strive to share the goodness as well as I can.

Every tragedy brings tears to someone. As much as I wish that there were no tragedies, I cannot let myself stop noticing, stop feeling, stop - indeed, crying. It is the suffering of the world with which Jesus most identifies, and in His name. I seek to do the same. So do you, WHEN you don’t forget who you are, and WHEN you don’t forget to shed your tears.

We had to put some new protective covering over one of our stained-glass windows. We needed to protect the window and yet allow it to be seen. For the window it is polyurethane. For our hearts, it’s tears.

It’s only through those tears that we see true light, only the refractions of those precious drops of water that will permit hope to grow in our hearts. That’s what Jesus wants to share with a breaking and broken world.

Becoming numbed to tragedy removes you from the possibility of sharing your personal influence of goodness. For God’s sake, literally, don’t let yourself become immobilized in icy detachment.

Bringing your goodness to the world is your job. You hear a bit of that from today’s reading from Isaiah. We heard some of the very last words in a book of 66 chapters, a way of Isaiah summing up:

“Proclaim my glory among the nations... (Then) bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the LORD...”

Happy Labor Day. Celebrate your gifts and talents well!
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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