Twilight Twitches

fetscherRejoice!
Dear Family,
We are ten days away. We pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.” No wonder the Liturgy today says, “Rejoice.”

The color even changes and a rose color emerges from the bluish-purple that has been trying to invite us into a little introspection. (It is rose, not p--k. I don’t wear p--k.)

The new color seems as though it is responding to St. Paul’s call to the Philippians: “Rejoice” “Again, I say rejoice!” As he is finishing his letter to them, Paul tells the Philippians, “Have no anxiety!” If Paul had ever made a Marriage Encounter, maybe he would have heard the guideline that ‘You can’t tell someone how to feel.’ Maybe Paul was expressing his own attitude and state of mind. When he says, “Have no anxiety” was he really saying, “I feel no anxiety”?

Paul was in prison when he wrote; it sure is remarkable that he would feel no anxiety. And yet, I think deep down, we know that his profound love of the Lord would surely have put his head and his heart in a place that wasn’t getting jostled around by anxiety no matter what was going on in his life. But what about the Philippians, and by extension, what about us?

Paul doesn’t seem to have trouble in thinking that an anxiety free life is possible for his dearly eloved Philippians and for us as well. Why? “The Lord is near.” There it is: Jesus is near. That brings us to the Advent anticipation and then the celebration of His “coming,” His coming near.

As I reflect on that, in my heart I know Paul knew the Lord was near him, and he also believed that the Lord was near to all of us. We have but to claim his nearness and his friendship.

Luke continues to tell us about John the Baptist today. People are coming out and different people in all walks of life are asking him, “What should we do?” He patiently (a little surprising for John) gives each person an answer specific to his situation. When you look atthe larger picture maybe the point is that each is being asked to remove the little preoccupations from their lives that keep them from coming close to the kingdom, and in our case keep us from coming face to face with Jesus as He tries to come toward us.

Let’s face it. Our anxieties have a way of multiplying.

How long has it been since you came to confession? Reconciliation is a gift, a concrete visible way of hearing that God has reconciled us to himself and sends the Holy Spirit to heal us, (from anxieties), and to help us see the places and the spaces where only each of us can bring his face in ways no one else can. It’s not sin bin time. It’s time to ‘Stand Up and be Strengthened to be Christ-bearers.’

Did you hear Zephaniah today?

The LORD has removed the judgment against you... you have no further misfortune to fear. The LORD, your God, is in your midst, Be glad and exult with all your heart.

All the things that distract us have ways of making very concrete impacts on us. We need something just as real and something that can make a greater impact on us. “I absolve you” isn’t a bad way to get impacted. That’s what “The LORD has removed the judgment against you…” means.

On this Thursday, December 17, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. we have two visiting priests who will come and offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation with me. We will hear confessions as long as there are people to be heard. If there is no one there at 7:00, we are going to dinner. I will also hear confessions after 8:00 a.m. daily Mass on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 21st and 22nd.

Use the gift you have been given. With hopes we will be late to dinner, I’m yours
In Jesus,

sign frjim

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