Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
So, if you are reading this on Sunday, I hope you remembered to “Fall Back.” I always think of it as nature paying me back for the hour it borrowed in the Spring when I sprung forward. I don’t spring with quite the agility I used to.

As we finally arrive at Election Day on Tuesday, it seemed to me that time was grinding to almost a halt. Have the processes of nominations and elections have been going on forever? I have this awful feeling that no sooner will we inaugurate a president in January than the process will begin all over again for 2020. We’ll probably be hearing from half the populace about the mistake the other half made.

The election might not seem at first to have much relevance to the “stuff” of a Twitch. I keep asking myself, “How does the gospel help frame this part of our lives?”

fetscherDear Family,
Whenever we have an event that takes the dedicated work of a lot of people, I always feel inadequate at thanking the folk who were so generous. Most of them remain anonymous, some by choice, some by being taking for granted.
I may have told you the story of a great woman I knew who had a remarkable faith. I don’t mean the things she believed. I mean the utter trust that characterized her life, even when her husband, a former Pan Am pilot for many years, developed dementia and she became care-taker par excellence. She always had a smile and always said all things were in God’s hands. God was using her hands for the heavy lifting. Anyway, one day I said to her that she was a powerful encouragement for all of us. Her response was, “Oh, please don’t say that. If I get all the praise now I won’t get it in heaven.”

fetscherDear Family,
One of the nicer things that happened to me recently was receiving a wonderful reflection. It came from a parishioner who doesn’t want to be named. I have this mental image of conversations about “Who was it?” and no one really paying attention to the thought and prayer itself. Still, I am a man of hope so I pass it on as a special gift.

“Hurricane shutters blocked the light coming through the beautiful window over the altar in our chapel. I had admired that window morning after morning as flashes of light sparkled through the golden hues. But now the window was dark and faceless. I knew of its beauty, but I could not see it.  That is what the masks we wear do to our inner light. Self-recrimination, worry, anxiety, fear and wounds block our true identity. The light of Christ is there, but it is not visible to others. Lord, help me remove the masks that shutter out your light. Let your love shine through me for all the world to see.”

fetscherEND HUNGER
Dear Family,
Hunger stalks more people than we know about. A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the Sun Sentinel noting that 15% of Broward County residents don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That percentage is the largest number of people in any South Florida county. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) allows $4.50 a day per person. It helps, but as one person said, “That’s where food banks come in.”

Here at St. Sebastian, hunger has been a concern and efforts to deal with it have become part of our ongoing ministry. For example, during Lent we have Operation Rice Bowl and we fast for at least one meal a week and put the amount of money that meal would have cost into the fancy cardboard rice bowl. Last Lent the rice bowls gathered $1,032.50. Not bad at all...

fetscherDear Family,
Often when we are celebrating Mass, my mind plays a little background music to accompany the “Deliver us prayer...” that follows the Our Father.

I pray “Deliver us Lord, from every evil... keep us free from sin and safe from all distress...” Keep us free from the kinds of abuses in our relationships we call sin, and safe from all distress. Notice is doesn’t say free from all distress, just safe. In other words, don’t let whatever is threatening in my life weaken my fundamental relationship with you Lord. Help me not to become so preoccupied with whatever is worrying me or hounding me, that I forget you are there.

fetscherDear Family,
If today were not the 27th Sunday in Ordinary time, it would be celebrated as the feast of the Guardian Angels. For both my pastorates, the feast marked my installations as pastor. I tell you this so that you will be able to thank those heavenly messengers for keeping the place from totally going to pot, despite me.

By the way that’s not reference to marijuana. In fact, according to The Phrase Finder, people had been going to pot long before hippies and the 60’s. 'Going to (the) pot', meant being chopped up and boiled for food. That usage dates back at least as far as the 16th century; ...The colloquial, metaphorical usage of 'ruin; destruction' is fairly old and was in common use by the 17th century. Edmund Hickeringill used the term in The History of Whiggism, 1682: ‘Poor Thorp, Lord Chief Justice, went to Pot, in plain English, he was Hang'd.’ That meaning alludes to the fact that the journey of an animal or ingredient to the pot was a one-way trip, with a very short future ahead.

fetscherDear Family,
Before I forget, at the doors of the Church today there is a sign-up sheet for helping at the Fall Festival (nee The Oktoberfest). The worker bees decided that after ten years our steins were getting a little cracked, so they shifted themes. It seems like a great idea and saves us the challenge of traveling north to cooler climes to see color. Of course cool right now seems very inviting.

There is also some word that because there hasn’t been much rain in various parts of the north, the leaves might not even bother turning colors, but just say to themselves, “The heck with it” and drop off. But whatever turns or doesn’t turn, nevertheless we will celebrate Fall with all the color we want. Isn’t Michael’s great?

fetscherDear Family,
Last week, a good friend, Rabbi David Auerbach, died after an illness. He was the rabbi emeritus at Bet Shira (which means House of Song) Congregation. It was four blocks down 120th street from St. Louis parish in Miami.

In the mid-eighties Rabbi Auerbach gathered 200 families and formed the congregation. By May 1988 they had built their synagogue. During the latter part of the construction, four teenagers defaced the building before it was even completed. At first everyone thought it was skinheads or someone else weird. Imagine their surprise when they found out they were teenagers from the neighborhood, good families, etc. etc. etc.

fetscherDear Family,
It’s hard to believe that is has been 15 years since “9/11.” Everyone knows what that means. Perhaps a teenager wouldn’t have the same reaction as we do. For them it becomes an event that’s in the past that people talk about, but for us older than 20 something, it is a real memory of our lives.
I’m writing this last Tuesday but I’m sure that by the time you read this there will be much in the news to bring alive the sorrow and sense of terrible tragedy that made 9/11 a seminal event in our lives. But then I think to last Sunday and the canonization of Mother Teresa. That event celebrated a person who we twenty-something-plus also remember very well. Her canonization even made the news reports.

Guest Twitchers: Little Rock Scripture Study Team
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
At some point in the wee hours of Monday morning, I (Annie) awoke with the thought: “There is no one lined up to write the ‘Twitch’ for the coming Sunday!” The thought of asking someone to write a letter of some 400-500 words at the last minute was not at all appealing, so I felt a “Plan B” was in order. Should this week’s ‘Twitch’ page be blank - affording you the opportunity to write your own reflection?.... Should I find a relevant graphic to fill the page?... The thought finally occurred to me (Thank you, Holy Spirit!) to have some of the members of our Little Rock Scripture Study Team share their thoughts about beginning this program with St. Sebastian Parish Family. So... here they are!

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