Twilight Twitches

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 
fetscherDear Family,

I am almost afraid to put this in print, but next Sunday, with the help of all the angels and saints, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper in the Main Sanctuary which will have been cooled down to a heavenly breeze by the Trane AirConditioning units with their tie downs which the City of Fort Lauderdale finally deemed suitable for use in our fair city.

There is a sainted man in our community, one Brian McMahon, whose prior claim to fame was expertise with brautwurst during the Oktoberfest. He now has become our chief negotiator with powers-that-be. Because of him our exile in St. Sebastian-on-the-Prairie will come to an end. (I did have two mothers of the bride in the wings on reserve to sic on the Building and Zoning Department. But it wasn’t because I doubted the skills of our chief negotiator.)

Reflecting on our exile, however, I’ve thought about a few things. For one, any number of people have commented that it was really kind of nice to have a closer feeling to each other in the Parish Center. We will find some very classy rope and I hearby declare the back half of the Main Sanctuary closed for the summer.

The stage lights have been bright in the Center, but as I said last week, it is really amazing how good your singing sounds at my spot in the front. Part of that is just being closer to each other.

Another thing I thought about was that when we are positioned closer to each other, we can say the “Our Father” with one voice. Again, as I mentioned, I’d love it if someday I heard, “You’re from St. Sebastian? Oh, isn’t that the place where they say the ‘Our Father’ slowly?” It isn’t about slow. It’s about trying to make an effort to pray WITH someone else. It means I have to listen and try not to get ahead or fall behind. It takes work! THAT’S THE POINT. Community, living together, being aware of someone else… it takes hard work.

Our liturgy becomes a model of Christian life. We don’t simply encounter Jesus exalted at the Father’s right hand; we also meet him in the nittygritty of learning to live together. Praying as He taught us with one voice isn’t a bad starting place.

The bottom line is that when it comes to liturgy, we are trying to create the spaces that help us remember that Sunday Mass is not about me and Jesus; it is about Jesus and US.

It is sort of an in-house joke among clergy, but there’s the question that asks, “What is the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?” Answer: “Terrorists take hostages.”

As a liturgist, I’m sort of offended but I sure have known a few in my time who were a little nutso about how exact things had to be. Don’t forget that the word ‘liturgy’ means ‘work of the people.’

In other words, all of us have a critical part to play in acting out the drama of salvation that is continually presented to us in the Word of God, and in the rites of the sacraments of the Body of Christ, the Church. That’s us, all of us. We make Jesus live for each other and for the world.

In Him,

sign frjim

Fr. Jim

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