Life is Messy

April 24, Life is Messy  Acts 9:1-20; John 6:52-59

Young volunteers were often surprised at Dorothy Day going to Mass and believing in the conservative doctrine of the church. They could not understand her commitment to the Eucharist. There are groups in town who will not support my ministry because I am Christian and Catholic; and there are Christians who want work with me or talk to me because i am too “liberal” so you have it.

When Jesus talks about his “flesh” and his “blood”, he is not talking about anything ideal or clean–but messy. Saul is an example–I love Paul, I love his writings, in his messiness he preached Christ and shaped the Church and our faith as we know it. God used him in a wonderful way.  If we want something black and white, clean, beautiful and perfect–than we get nothing but blandness.  That is what is happening with gentrification–blandness. Beneath the blandness of life is really terror and fear–and loss. We can not run away from that.

Last night I sat beside the bed of a young man who was stabbed over an argument over a blunt of 420, the  night before last I witnessed another stabbing.  Life is messy, and it is painful.  In the Gospel Jesus speaks of the Eucharist with intense concreteness- it is flesh and blood–it is real. It is in that realness that we find life. Scott Peck says, “Life is difficult”, and it hellar is, but in accepting its difficulty you can live it with grace and joy.

A young man once asked me what I did so terribly wrong that I had to give my life to guys like him, he said, “you bleed and hurt for us.” And i looked him in the eye and said, “Sean, I am as big fuck up, bigger than you will ever be, and because God redeems me every day, how can I not love you,” And the same with Saul who became Paul in God’s love he loved others. but he like me, and like you simply are fuck ups and we need to treat each other with gentleness rather than judgment, and let God do that. It is like today there was a photo of the young man in the Boston bombing giving the finger, and it was pointed out how he deserved death because he showed no remorse. Frankly what I saw was a 19 year old kid being a 19 year old kid, doing the same thing I have done–smarting off giving the finger. . I believe he deserves life with the possibility of parole in 25 years,but I believe he is a young man whose brain that has not totally developed, who has done a terrible thing, he needs to be punished, and hopefully some day can see the wrong and find redemption and give back.  When I start pointing at others I remind myself I have a third finger pointing at me. Let’s be gentle with one another–life is too fucking messy to do otherwise.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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