Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
As I reflected on the readings for this weekend, the phrase “cut to the chase” came to mind.

When Joshua calls the tribes together, they get it. They see God has been with them and they pledge themselves to His service.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is familiar to us. More than once over the years, I’ve heard a comment or two from those who don’t like hearing Paul say, “Wives, be subject to your husbands.” Sometimes, the threat of chauvinism blocks the hearing and they are slow to hear, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her.” In other words, the husband dies for his wife if that’s what it takes.

Today we ended the series of readings we have been doing from the sixth chapter of John’s gospel, often referred to as the “Bread of Life Discourse.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”

Some of his disciples could no longer follow Him because of what He said. It wasn’t just a question of trying to believe the words about His body and blood. It was also the very intimate relationship that Jesus was saying He had with God, His Father. That was also too much for some to hear, and they went away.

A very startling moment of choice comes for the Apostles. Jesus asks them, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Matthew’s gospel quotes Jesus saying to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.”

So... what brought Peter to the point where he could really hear the Father?

“Cut to the Chase,” indeed. Peter and his friends had spent enough time with Jesus to come to the point where they were open to believing what might seem unbelievable.

My personal bottom line on this finds me asking, “am I spending enough time with the Lord to be able to hear Him?”

A very important part of the ‘spending time’ is to clear the air of the sights and sounds and distractions that can block out the ‘whisper’ of God. Remember the story of Elijah? In 1 Kings 19 we heard how God spoke in a slight sound, after the noise and disorders of the wind and earthquake and fire had passed. Between COVID, Fred, Grace and Henri, somedays really get interesting.

Speaking of sounds, however, we have been given a special gift of lovely sounds in the wonderful presence of Catherine Spitzer, aka Cathy, who has joined us as our new cantor. Her talents and disposition flow seamlessly from those of Sue Schierer. My prayer is that she will like us and surpass the 26 years of service that Sue gave us. Between Cathy and the wonderful gifts that Peter Manfredi continually brings us each week, we have one of the best combos in the Archdiocese for creating resounding praise! God bless them both! Talk about hearing!

Last week we sent $5,000 to Catholic Relief Services for aid to Haiti. We had four special gifts to send. This weekend we are continuing to seek your special help and we will join the dedicated efforts of Catholic Charities to continue the outreach. We have seen the devastation. Now we promise ourselves to reach out and help rebuild one person, one place at a time.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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