Twilight Twitches

msgrfetscherDear Family,
Some people think that ‘Christ’ is Jesus’s last name. Actually, it is His title. It means Anointed, the Chosen One. One writer notes, “In Old Testament prophetic writing, it (Christos) was used as a descriptive title of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation.” Attaching Christ to Jesus, switching it from description to name happened over centuries, coming to the way we now speak his name, Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to us? Today would be a good time to think about just what does the name “Jesus” mean to me?

Perhaps you come to St. Sebastian today, or perhaps you are reading this Twitch online because you know there is something special about today. You definitely know it’s more than bunnies and eggs. Yet even eggs (new life) and bunnies (fertility) say something about what we celebrate. As kids, we loved coloring Easter Eggs. How much fun it was writing your name on an egg in wax, and then seeing your name appear almost magically after the dye colored everything but your name.

I remember the song, “In Your Easter Bonnet,” recalling Easter parades down New York’s Fifth Avenue, but I don’t recall any lyric that sang about why they were parading, other than finery.

We call His Name sacred, and yet it sure gets thrown about sometimes. It certainly must have power. You hear it hollered in the most drastic/angry/surprised situations:

“J____ C_____!”

In the first reading we heard today from the Acts of the Apostles. St. Peter said that “everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” That’s the power Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 15:17: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.”

It gives me a bit of a chill to think that there would ever be a time when I would ravage His name with a swear or an oath. Unfortunately, I confess to occasions, rare but there...

Jesus Christ is the name of Him who revives and reestablishes my relationship with God.

We really do get our value systems screwed up sometimes, don’t we... and that’s a statement not a question.

And yet, He forgives all. He does because the Resurrection shows His power over death. As every Emmaus brother and sister knows, “JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!”

In I Corinthians 15:55, Paul asks, “Where, O Death is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”

In times when ‘organized religion’ comes under criticism and we have our challenges from within and without, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are not in this alone. As the wise Indian Chief said in the movie Little Big Man, “Some days the magic works; some days it doesn’t.” Maybe we could say the same about Church community.

Nevertheless, we are all we’ve got, and so if there are many faces gathered today - some a little less familiar than others, praise God for the whole bunch of us, because community is essential to faith. The community is where Jesus has chosen to reveal Himself. “Where two or three are gathered in my Name, there I am in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20)

I pray for all of you as we gather, and I thank Jesus for the gift all of you are to my faith journey. With gratitude, I am yours

In the Christ, our Risen Lord,
sign frjim

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