Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
I know today is not a liturgical feast day, but I wanted to jazz the masthead up a little in honor of what the notion of Independence Day means for people of faith.

For starters, our very independence as a nation is why we can gather to pray as we wish. The founding fathers knew God. They also knew there must be freedom to pursue Him.

Unfortunately, it took a while for that notion of freedom to work its way through the fabric of our nationhood to erase the barren bondage of slavery.

As I reflect (and I warn you it is the middle of the night as I write and so reflection becomes a little less disciplined), I’m asking myself, independence from what?... independence FOR what???

The heartache of Surfside looms over us. As I watched the coverage, my mind brought back the memories of the town I knew as a kid right down from Haulover Beach where the family went. In those days, if I remember correctly, Jews were not allowed to live there. As I kid, I didn’t realize what that meant. Arthur Godfrey had the Kenilworth,... what prejudice?

So... I want independence to honor people, to encourage and support them when the roof falls in - literally. I want the freedom to rejoice in seeing what people can do when they come together in the face of such tragedy. I want independence from the underlying cynicism that it won’t be long before we fall back into old ways of being and doing and thinking.

I hear Lincoln’s wish that “the mystic chords of memory...(will) again be touched... by the better angels of our nature.”

Surely, those angels are floating around Surfside now, and we pray in thanksgiving for the incredible rescuers, now for what they are doing, and in days to come as they will heal from what they are experiencing first-hand.

We also pray for the families of those who have waited in fading hope for a miracle of a discovery. They too, will especially need our prayer for healing.

As we have been journeying with Mark as we hear the gospels these weeks, Jesus has been traveling in pagan ter¬ritory, working healing miracles and today we hear He final¬ly arrives in his home, only to find that because “prophets have no honor in their own country,” He could not work many miracles there. Mark says, “He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

“He was amazed...” That phrase really amazes me. Somehow, as much as I realize that He was a man like us in all things but sin, still, Jesus was amazed? I guess I still have a long way to go in understanding His true humanity.

As I have been doctoring, I’ve had time to think and ponder. Every time I jerked with a little twinge of pain – not many after I escaped the hospital – I found myself thinking about what Jesus really went through in every human way. I’d come back to the idea that my little problem was nothing. Yet, and this is important, in each moment it was MY pain, not someone else’s, and it was precisely in MY pain that Jesus chose to come and be present. His pain set the stage for His coming to me. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but it sure was overwhelming for me.

RADICAL GEAR SHIFT
I know I mentioned that I wanted to throw myself a birthday party. In fact, Mark and Noreen from Waxy’s said they would feed us. Given the current situation with COVID, I think I was a bit premature to hope we could do it on August 7, the weekend of my 80th. So... let’s think about 80 1/4 or 80 1/2. I promise, I will still buy. It’ll be the best birthday present I could have. Looking forward to seeing you face to face this weekend, I’m yours

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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