Twilight Twitches

handsaroundworldDear Family,
Here we are in the 11th week in Ordinary time. In other words, we have finished the Easter season and celebrated Trinity and Corpus Christi. The cycle began last December with Advent and moves to Advent 2020, when we begin the voyage through the Church’s year of feasts all over again.

The Church has a three-year cycle, using Matthew, Mark or Luke. As you remember (don’t you?) this is Matthew’s year. John comes to us at various times sprinkled into the seasons of the year.

The first reading usually comes from the Old Testament, a.k.a. the Hebrew Scriptures, complimenting a theme in the gospel. The second reading does its own thing. Usually we are listening to one of Paul’s letters.

The reason I took you down this liturgical lesson lane, is that when I started to write this Twitch and remembered all this stuff, I started laughing to myself.

What could possibly be ‘Ordinary’ about today. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic. “Pan” is Greek for “all,” in other words, something that affects everyone all over the place. You didn’t need me to tell you that.

COVID-19 is redefining our lives and our world. Many people are hurt by the shutdown that keeps them from jobs and earning their livings.

In our country, and echoed in many places in the world, we hear the chant that “Black Lives Matter.” That chant calls our world to really examine our attitudes about ‘other’ people.

There it is: “other.”

I thought it was pretty amazing that as our demonstrations around the country grew, the same reactions were mirrored in countries around the world. Deep down, many people began
uncovering a painful truth: it’s too easy to make people “others,” them vs. us, me vs. you.

I’m not talking about the uniqueness of each of us as individuals. I’m talking about the divisions that splinter what ought to be a unified humanity.

There are things we’ve been asked to do: spatial distancing, masks in public places, washing hands.

Those are things that not only try to bring each of us a healthier condition in our own lives; they also are gifts that we give to each other.

I love the slogan I saw on a t-shirt that said, “United we stand/divided we fall.”

We will be wearing masks at Mass for the foreseeable future. I hate masks. They fog my glasses. Each of us is being called to heighten our sense of the other, even as we are pushed apart. That sure isn’t ordinary.

My personal examination of conscience is forc¬ing me to look at just what am I really willing to do for you... for someone else... for Annie... Patricio... for Miriam? We won’t let this awful “ordinary” crush who we are but strengthen who we would like to be.

That’s ‘Ordinary Redefined.’

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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