We’re In This Together

“In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, “Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses’hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”
Book of Exodus


Who would Lucy have been without Fred and Ethel?

The great Moses, the Charlton Heston of all biblical figures, couldn’t stand with his arms outstretched for Joshua to win the battle. It doesn’t take long before that great and mighty one needs a little help. (Cue “The Beatles,” “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.”) He may have said to himself, “This war is taking a little longer than I thought.” Enter stage left, Aaron and Hur to the rescue. Moses gets to rest on a rock, and the supporting characters get to keep Moses’ arms raised, assuring victory for God’s troops.

What could Cagney have done without Lacy?

We may come in and out of this world alone, but the in-between time is a colorful cast of characters to help us along. “Help us along…” I thought we were supposed to become rugged individualists, self-made men, “men” deliberately chosen because the wives are home doing Monday’s laundry and getting supper ready; every day. That American myth has no place in our beautiful Catholic faith. We are in this together. We need each other. Many hands can perform so much more. (I think it’s called the Body of Christ.) Speaking of Christ, even he couldn’t do it alone. He needed twelve others to work with him, pray for him, support and encourage him. Interestingly, the etched window at the church’s entrance has thirteen apostles surrounding by the Blessed Mother. The thirteenth is the one called the “Last Apostle,” St. Paul. Very clever. Working together – through all ages and generations.

On “Happy Days,” what would Richie have done without the “Fonz?”

What would Johnny Carson have done for thirty years without that Irish guy sitting at the end of the couch and laughing at jokes, funny or not?

Unity, community. I’m not being political, but the Democratic debate last Tuesday night ended with a personal, powerful question that can be asked of each of us, in a faith-filled way: “What friendship have you had that would surprise us, and what impact it had on your beliefs?” We work together even when disagreements occur because we are all only concerned with the whole of the Church and not just our personal opinions or beliefs. That’s a community with a capital “C.” We all sang at the beginning, “In his wisdom, he strengthens us, like gold that’s tested in fire.”

As I’m sure you all do, I talk to myself. But not talking to me but two other people. It began years ago and continues to this day. I converse with them about my day and tomorrow’s day, any concerns or doubts that I have. They don’t respond because I know their responses. They’re both only a phone call away, but I don’t need the phone. They’re in my mind and heart. Keeps me balanced.

To not leave you older folks out of the loop, what would Fiber Magee have done without Molly?

Our tendency to be selfish is tempted and tested our whole lives. The Eucharist is our mutual time to bond again together. To renew and respect the community that Christ built. At Offertory, we’ll see repeatedly, “Give me nothing more than your love and grace. These alone, O God, are enough for me.” I would add “these alone are enough for us!

You may not know this but priests are still allowed to have a private Mass. Oxymoron? “Mass,” as in numerous people. “Private,” as in just one guy?” Just the priest. In the old days, a priest was expected to have Mass every day. A little extra cash and fulfilling an obligation. That’s no longer the case but some priests still do it. I know it’s a connection to the universal Church throughout the world but give me a break. What happens at the Sign of Peace? “Peace be with you.” “Oh no, peace be with you!” Weird.

What would the fictional TV host, Alan Brady have done without Dick Van Dyke, Mori Amsterdam and Rose Marie?

Elizabeth Taylor had eight of them when you count Richard Burton twice.

The great Moses needed assistance. Moses needed others, a faithful community to perform God’s actions. Hue and Aaron, little known but significant characters in our biblical story. I never heard of Hur before this scripture reading and I knew that Aaron was Moses’ brother. The three of them, following God’s guidance, allow Joshua to win the battle. As Mass ends today, we’ll end it by singing, “Come with the strength I lack, the vision clear of neighbor’s need, of all humanity; fulfillment of my life in love outpoured…”

A supportive and encouraging community of faithful followers in the name of Jesus Christ. Assembled together not because of our personal quirks and qualms, but because of the unity we together continue to build and honor in the name of Jesus Christ. Our meditation song following communion has an unusual title but it simply means, “never give up,” like the widow persistently did to that inhuman judge.

One more for you. Who would the TV psychologist Bob Newhart have interacted with except his wise and sensible wife. Suzanne Pleshette.




About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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