Archive for April, 2010

“Judges of the Moral Norm”

April 29, 2010

Jn. 13:16-20. St. Catherine of Siena

I was criticized yesterday by someone because of my lack of judgment of the “sins” of those I serve.  I found it humorous, because this righteous person would have a lot of fun with me for you see when we make ourselves the moral norm, the pious standard of the Christian life, when we make ourselves judges of the universe, rather then the messengers of the Gospel, we put ourselves in the place of God. Personally I do not believe that God judges us, but that we judge ourselves, our choices send us away from God.  I spent yesterday going to the food bank, visiting a priest, getting blankets, and getting the bulletin together for the May 9 event. Took a nap and went out and did outreach for a couple of hours. It is always amazing to me how the people I reach out to are simply ignored, not even seen by the people out there partying. They are simply out of site, out of mind, as it is in our government these days, and by our media, I see little about homelessness in the papers. I am cooking a meal now for tonight and will serve it tonight. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Light In the Moment”

April 28, 2010

Jn. 12:44-50  “I have come to the world as light so that those who believe in me should not remain in darkness”

Sometimes life seems impossible.  The way forward is unclear and the present is dark, it is the light of Jesus within us that shows us the way.  I think back to the darkest times in my life–when I had lost everything–friends, family, church–and it was that light of Jesus that sustained me.  I talk to people on the streets–“Abbey”, who walks with a walker, so dependent on a boyfriend, I think of “Jose”,  a guy who is can be as sane as me one minute and then the next is just out of it, and their lives are dark.  They talk of Jesus, of how he gets them through, and I believe that his light gives them hope. We live in a time when we think everything can be fixed–the reality is no amount of money or services can fix people or their way of life, but we in the moment we can offer them the hope of Jesus–of his presence, of his love. We can show that presence, we can show that love with food, a shoulder to lean on, a pair of socks, a blanket.  We have the moment–that is all we have–we have Jesus! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Following Jesus

April 28, 2010

Jn. 10:22-30 “The deeds I do on my Father’s authority speak on my behalf; but you will not believe because you are not my sheep.”

The great spiritual temptation is to profess to believe one thing and go on living exactly as if we don’t.  The spiritual life is only authentic when what we say we believe and the way we live are one and the same.

Today I cooked the meal, and served it. It has been a good day. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Moment By Moment”

April 27, 2010

Jn. 10:27-30/“My sheep listen to my voice.  I know them and they follow me.”Jn. 10:1-10 “I have come that they may have life, life in all of its fullness.”

Yesterday I woke up and was really uptight and angry. I feel sometimes like a square that does not fit into a round hole, and like people simply have trouble dealing with me, and I am difficult.  I did not like myself very much.  I took the bus to Sacramento and stayed on the “Delta King”==it put things into context getting out of the City.  The way I follow Jesus is not the most popular way–but it is my calling–I hear his voice each time I look into the face of shaggy looking kid, give him my time, a pair of socks, some clean needles and for me it is all worth it.  This morning the Scripture reminds me that we are not here for our own sake–we have a responsibility to continue the work of Jesus-to care for others as God cares for us–to keep alive the fire of faith in ourselves.  It is always for me moment by moment.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“The Words of Eternal Life”

April 24, 2010

Jn. 6:60-69  “Jesus knew that they were grumbling about his teaching, so he said to them, ‘Does this make you want to give up?”

Faith is the foundation of the spiritual life.  It gives us both hope and direction.  But faith must not be confused with certainty.  When life is confusing, certainty fails us.  Only faith gives us reason to go on.  We live in a time when we think we can fix everything. There are ads on T.V. of planning for retirement–to be sure you have enough money–but all of that will fail. I think of the young newspaper reporter who died at 28 yesterday, she got out of school five years ago with the certainty of a job and future only to have terminal cancer; I think of the two young guys on Haight yesterday who are “traveling”, no money, no health insurance–simple trust in life, and I think of myself–no guarantees of money, or security–yet it is my faith that keeps me going. There are no certainties in life, to believe that is to set oneself up for failure, and confusion.  For me Jesus has the “words of eternal life,” and that is what keeps me going, what gives me strength, what gives me hope.  We live in the eternal moment. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Eat My Flesh/Drink My Blood”

April 23, 2010

Jn. 6:52-59 “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.”

By living the life of Jesus–one of service, of of giving of one’s self to others–we begin to live the life of God here and now.  We rise to a newer, higher kind of life.  We begin to see the world as God sees the world–and we reach out and try to do as Jesus would do.  In the Eucharist we experience Jesus, and the pain that he suffered, and suffers, and in our own living out the Gospel we have a taste of the banquet to come.   Last night was exhausting, serving the meal, preparing the meal.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Love Without Limits”

April 21, 2010

Jn. 6:35-40 “I will never turn anyone who comes to me. .” The difference between God and us is that we put limits on our love, we love some but not all, we love on condition. But God loves us, loves us all, loves always, loves without limits. We all have our limits, but I believe the limits that get us in trouble are we love because of what people do for us or how they respond to us.  I often get little appreciation for the things I do for people, but I do them because God has loved me, and I am not exactly the most lovable person in the world.  We are called to love.  Last night I served the meal, and the appreciation I got was knowing that there were people who had food, that had had very little food during the day,  and the time I spent with each one was very precious.  Our services–both church and government are so often filled with limits–that we fail to see the person.  And it is the same with our time.  People find me accessible,  because I have time or I find time to spend with people. I find it interesting my pastor friends never have time just to sit down for a cup of coffee, and complain about not having enough time, but the reality is we find the time we need,  and that is what love is about–giving people our time as well, ourselves. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


April 20, 2010

Jn. 6:30-3:  “What miracle will you perform so that we might see it and believe you?”

Life is full of miracles, but not always the ones we expect.  Instead God gives us what we need, not simply what we want.  Jesus is the miracle of our lives. Each day of life is a miracle for me, each day of doing ministry is a miracle for me. I am cooking a meal to serve tonight in the Castro, it is a great miracle that has been given to me–to do a ministry of serving food, of presence-a miracle I do not deserve.  Each day, each act of ministry is truly a miracle.  And for me the greatest miracle of all is in the Eucharist I celebrate daily: Ven. Emmanuel D’Alzon said: Jesus Christ wishes to be your friend–and it is in the Holy Eucharist that he offers you this precious gift of his friendship. And so I see the miracles in life, and the greatest of all is the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


NOTE:  This is my personal journal, it is not a reflection on anyone else or their journey, but my journey in life.

“More Then Bread”

April 20, 2010

John 6:26-27  “. . . . . Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

Strange, I was out doing outreach and the older guys were simply holy terrors–I never had enough for them, the younger ones, always seem to want my time.  I have an older friend who has it all–and his addiction is on what he has or does not have, to the point now I am not sure I want to spend any time with him.  For Jesus is telling us that why we do what we do is always more important then the things we do.  It is the love of God that counts, not the things that we do only in the hope of eternal reward. Last week I had an older former priest friend asked me ‘Why do you work with these people?” The only answer I can give–it is for the love of God, there is no other reason, no hope of eternal reward either, just simply THE LOVE OF GOD!  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!



“Life Is Not Always Where We Think It Is”

April 19, 2010

“He said to them, “Haven’t you caught anything?  Not a thing.” They answered. He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat. So they threw the net out and could not pull it back because they had caught so many fish.” John 21: 16ff

Life is not always where we think it is. When changes disturb us we need to remember that Jesus may well be showing where we are really meant to be, where success really is.  When I entered the United Methodist ministry–my plans were laid out–a parish pastor, a large parish, and even a bishop, but the events through the years has brought me to San Francisco, working on the streets with kids and sex workers.  For a position of security to insecurity–and on yea an independent catholic bishop–so much for my early plans.  Jesus shows us where he wants us to be, and it is not always where we want to be, but it is where we are meant to be.  I was doing outreach to individuals tonight, homeless guys, and women, sex workers, one of them  called me “Father”, and I thought how many priests do they see out hear taking care of them–so I have found Life, but not where I would have ever thought on my five and ten year plans. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!