“Ssstuttering Moses”

“Glimmer and Glances” is the title of my reflection today. It’s interesting, to me, that Protestants always have a clever name for their sermons. It’s even listed on their outdoor church sign. And priests? Well, they just seem to talk and talk some more.

So, as Joan Rivers famously said, “Let’s talk.” Our strengths are strongly projected in public because power is what we want the hearer to hear. “Put your best foot forward?” Or, it is?

“Glimmer and Glances.” It’s the snippets of the divine that blesses our humanity. It’s an enviable unity that only seems to show itself in moments of glances and glimmers. It’s a beautiful day, and you’re walking along, and suddenly you find yourself immersed in something, someone beyond yourself. You stop walking and wonder. You say to yourself, “Isn’t this cool? What’s happening?” It means that you’ve united yourself with your Creator. Creation to created. The two “C’s” meet, if only for a short time. Heck, it could be raining, and you feel the same union just like Gene Kelly did while swinging around the street lamp in the middle of a stormy rain. That, brothers and sisters is joy. Pure joy. Even the cop at the end of Gene’s dance can’t figure it out. That’s a glimmer.

I said before, “strength is what we want the hearer to hear.” So very wrong from a Christian perspective. Catholic/Christians believe it is from our weaknesses that gains, not strength, but the full humanity that God intended for us.

You heard Moses tell us today, [He] “spoke to all the people, saying: ‘A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him, you shall listen.’” Listening to Moses, however, may take a while. Why? Because Moses had a ssstuttering problem. Simple words passing his lips in machine gun time. Pour guy. Charlton Heston stuttering? How long would that Cecile B. DeMille movie have been? So, Moses got his brother Aaron to speak for him to make the film a little bit shorter.

I didn’t have a brother named Aaron. In my third grade, the nun had me stand up and say my name, and I couldn’t say it. I just could not say my name even when my fellow classmates already knew my name. Unknowingly, I found my weakness at an early age but never owned it until adulthood. I know my troubling words and try to avoid them. (That list keeps growing, by the way.)

“Overcome your weakness, and you’ll find strength,” says how many religions. I tell you, “Embrace your weakness and realize your humanity – that’s combining those two “C’s” I mentioned to you before.

Sometimes, it may take you several seconds or more to hear the word I’m trying to say. (It’s only a few seconds out of your agenda-filled life.) My wanting-to-say-the-word but not-saying-the-word often comes to you in threes. I’m trying to say the word, and many try to give me the word I’m trying to say. I don’t need your help. It’s my word, and I know the word I want to say.

Is it a weakness? Can I drop a few rungs off the ladder of my priestly priesthood and my own pride? Or, do I blame God or my mother?

I realize what I’m saying doesn’t work in sports. The coach yells, “Find his weakness and then use it against him.” Religion and spirituality is not a sport. No winning, and no champagne thrown over your head.

There is only our humanity – complete with its successes and failures, lived as best we can. Celebrated together in joyful praise to the glory of God. I emphasize “together.” Over twenty-five years in radio and over forty as a preacher, I somehow think that I’m doing okay.

What is the “glimmers and glancing” in your life? Porgy Pig joins me in talking to you as best we can. “Ttthat’s all folks!”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Serving as Administrator, St. Catherine of Alexandria, 8661 N. 76 Place, Milwaukee, WI. 53223. www.stcatherinemke.org. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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