Archive for December, 2011

Beginnings and Endings

December 31, 2011

Jn. 1:1-18

“The year draws to a close, December, the final month, is complete.  For us Christians, all time is sacred, either in its beginning or at its end. All time is God’s time.” Br. Victor Antoine d’Avilla Latourrette

All time is sacred time–and our lives are lived within it, not matter how long we live, and we live in God’s presence and in God’s presence our lives are working themselves out.  I have held the hands of, and conducted the funerals of thousands of young people these past seventeen years, I have faced death several times, and I see all of this not as beginnings or endings, but simply living in God’s time. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Family

December 30, 2011

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family.  The majority of the people on the street have no family connections; I have few–at least when I call my cousin I have one–but otherwise I have no family either. Sexuality, mental illness, homelessness all contribute to this, as well as the breakdown of family in society, but what I have learned is that family are the people who really care for you–who are there for you when you need them.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Luke 1:22-35: Y…

December 29, 2011

Luke 1:22-35: Yesterday we had the killing of the innnocense, today of the blessing of Simeon and of him saying that Jesus would not have an easy life.  Yesterday reminds us that each day millions of innocents are being killed in the world physically, and otherwise. I think of the man I met recently who was kicked out of his church because he was gay–an innoent being killed–to follow Jesus is not easy. I have found that to follow Jesus means to be crucified over and over again, and also to experience the resurrection.  Deo GratiasThanks be to God!

Christ at the Checkout Counter

December 25, 2011

John `:1-10

Thursday night I was saw D in the alley spread out all over the place, I walked over to see give him food and to see if he needed anything, and all around him was feces-I was taken a back and then it  dawned on me this is why Jesus came into the world–to bring hope to human beings in all of their messiness.

My dad owned a store and so I grew up stocking shelves and behind the
counter.  He was a devout Christian who always saw his work as his
ministry, and he would say to me over and over in each person you
meet, you see the face of Christ. And so through the years I see the
face of Christ, the incarnation become human in many ways, and a few
ways that make that a habit .

1.      The supermarket checkout:  When I am standing  in line at Safe way
I remind myself that each person is the face of Christ, and that the
injunction to love that person as I love myself is literally true.

2.      The Office visit:  People stop by an interrupt me when I am working
on administrative materials, and I reminded each time that they come
first for they are the face of Christ.

3.      The phone call:  Each phone call I get is a phone call from
Jesus—be it a telemarketer or one of my kids needing to talk.

4.      The swim: I swim every morning and each time I talk to the person
at the counter, a life guard I see Jesus.

In each person we encounter Christ and that is the message of Christmas–Jesus is born in each one of us, and we are to honor that Christ in each one of us. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

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“Being in the Dirt”

December 23, 2011

Luke 1:39-45  Last night one of the guys was sitting in the alley, drunk and sick, sitting in th the middle of his feces. His was an awful sight, and he just got up and asked for food and socks, and moved on.  I see examples of this all the time–people surrounded by filth, drunkeness, drug addictedness, and yet I see in those times the moments of the incarnation–of God becoming one with us humans, and each time I try to turn my head away, and walk away I am reminded that Jesus did not walk away–and neither can we who follow him, we must be in the midst of the messiness of life for we represent him. Christmas is a message of beauty–the beauty of God getting his hands dirty. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

God Comes to Us

December 22, 2011

Lk. 1:46-56 The newspapers tell of the great things the rich do; they tell of how our Lt. Governor is increasing his fortune–always an emphasis upon money, and the “generosity” of those with money. But the Gospel tells us that Jesus comes to the poor, because the rich have all they need, they have security, and hope in the future. It is in the poor that Jesus comes, in John, Sue, Sarah, Cameron–of the Tenderloin, Haight, and Polk–who have only the clothes on their bodies that Jesus comes. I have little compared to many people but I serve 500 people a week–it is in the poor that we meet Jesus, not in the rich and powerful–for they have all they need (at least they think they do). Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Becoming the Incarnation

December 21, 2011

Lk. 1:389-45  Adrienne von Speyr says that “Mary’s pregnancy is a period of unbroken contemplation, of continual attention to the Son. And yet it is a time of action, for she wnet to Elizabeth in order to bring the Son to her, the gift she had received fgrom God to hand on to others. .”  and William Barclay said:” If we are to accept the teaching of Jesus at all, then the only test of the reality of a one’s religion is his attitude to others. The only possible proof that one loves God is the demonstrated fact of love of neighbor.”
  – William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God
I have been told I have a gift of “opening my life enough to let people in”/  To me that is what Jesus calls all of us to do–to be the incarnation to our brothers and sisters–and yes that is painful, and you open yourself to crucifixion, but also to resurrection. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Miracles

December 19, 2011

Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Lk. 1:5-25  The stories of the conception of Samson and John the
Baptist are about miracles–what can happen when you open your life to God.  I look back at my own life, and I see miracles–of being in ministry when because of my sexual orientation I was told “no”, and because I open my heart to God–to let him remove resentment, brooding rejection–to allow him to reject the “no” of the institution and the world, and open to his “yes”-, and to lead me to see ministry in different forms I am a priest, and I am doing that for which I was born, for God knew from the beginning where I was to be, but I had to be open to trusting in God through pain, through anger, through distrust, through life, and I still have to be open to trusting–for life is about trust in God. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“On the Journey”

December 18, 2011

Luke 1:26-38 Mother Teresa said of Mary: “Mary, being the hand maid of the Lord, was completely empty of self, and God filled her with grace. “Full of Graced” means full of God. A handmaid is at someone’s disposal, to be used according to someone’s wish with full trust and joy, to belong to someone without reserve.”

She speaks of herself in this quote, she struggled all of her life with depression and doubt, and yet she was completely empty of self. I am on a similar journey. I experience some of the same struggles–depression, darkness, doubt. But as I empty myself, simply let go and see the reality of what a journey is about I find myself more at peace. A journey is dfficult, it is full of hardship at times, but you keep on.  For me coming to terms with my life, with myself as a human being in all of my fuck upness, and seeing God’s grace at work h as brought much peace. We are all fucked up people, but it is when we empty ourselves in God, and see our one ness, and reach out to each other and share of what we have–that is when we grow and develope.  My journey continues. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Inclusiveness

December 16, 2011

Isa. 56:1-3, 6-8

Israel knew they belonged to God, and  believed they were the chosen-to the point they often persecuted people who were not Israelites, but God always pushed them, reminding them that all people were his people He urged then to pray for the pagans, to welcome the stranger. Today the church tends to be as isolated–banning queers, women in some groups, and staying within their socio economic class. Our kindness, our care to the “stranger” can provide a door to God, to healing if we but reach out. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!