Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Welcome to our visitors, most especially the invited neighbors and friends of our parishioners. This weekend, throughout the Archdiocese, parishes are celebrating Welcome Weekend. The idea is to try and let people know something about the Church.

In one sense, I’m wondering why we are doing this because I hope we would always be welcoming. Maybe it’s because I just opened a note I received.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you so much for your warm welcome. On Sunday November 10th and for Steve’s kindness to give us a ride back to our hotel and for the kind woman who arranged it. We felt so at home and among friends. God’s love and life is truly reflected in your community. May God continue to reward you.
Yours in Christ through Mary,
Mike and Michele (Moore)

This couple came from Marthasville, Missouri, just west of St. Louis. We get a number of notes like that throughout the year because you all pitch in. We don’t think hospitality is a big deal, but other people do. Why? Perhaps they don’t experience it everywhere. Hopefully, their own community is a happy place to find Jesus, and they know his face when they see it.

When you go travelling and you have a good experience, do you take the time to write a note to say, “Thanks”? It does encourage you to keep on doing the good stuff. Did you notice that when the Moore’s wrote, they addressed the whole community, “Dear brothers and sisters.” They got it right. It’s the work of the whole community.

Remember the adage, “Comparisons are odious.” God forbid I compare us with anyone. The only issue is, are we being the best reflection of the face of Jesus that we can be! That’s what faith-filled gathering is supposed to be all about.

How is your Advent going?

Last Sunday we heard about being prepared. “You do not know the day or the hour.” That’s how Advent began. Be prepared. Someone sent me a note this week about attitudes. Your attitude pretty much shapes the way you hear things for yourself. My attitude toward you, shapes me and colors everything I experience about you. Be pre¬pared, not for the end of the world, but for the next person who is trying to bring Jesus into your presence. He’s far more likely to show up if you’re prepared with an attitude of expectation.

Then comes today, and John the Baptist. We hear, “You brood of vipers.” John laid that stinging label on Pharisees and the Sadducees. They had been coming for his baptism of repentance. John let them know he knew they were doing it for show. In fact, John said to them,

“Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'“

They were the religious leaders, and they should have known better than anyone that hypocrisy was no way to the Lord. Don’t think for a minute that as a ‘religious leader’ I don’t wince when I think that I might do anything that makes me a member of the ‘brood of vipers.’

We’re all called to produce good fruit. That’s takes me back to the beginning of this Twitch. I’m so grateful that in some small measure we are producing good fruit as a community, on some days, anyway. I don’t presume. I say, “Thank you Lord, for the gift of the grace to show your face.”

With my prayers for you and all the expectations you have, especially recalling the precious gift of a Savior from our worst inclinations.

In Him,
sign frjim

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