The Cup

“Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism I will be baptized with.”  Mark 10: 35-43

A friend said to me to me last week, “You know River many people view you as a threat because you have an incarantional ministry.”

Threatening in the sense that I follow what i believe is my call. And I let nothing nor any one stand in my way. The Biblical concept of “cup” is destiny and this is my destiny.

It was never so clear to me as yesterday evening when i was looking for shells on the beach in Fort Lauderdale and I heard someone call my name. It was one of my traveling seventeen year old’s from the Haight.  I joined him and three friends and we surfed all night, talked and fell asleep on the beach.  This morning I bought them breakfast. As we were walking up the beach Mateo commented “I asked you to baptize me and I left town.” I took him down to the water and as he came up out of the water, I knew no matter how much I seem like a child sometimes, or how different I appear to be, how I am not understood, how difficult it is to raise money–this is my destiny, to walk with these guys as one of them.

I am not a service provider, I am just a priest, whose ministry is one seamless thread–no separating it from any aspect of my life.

I carry with me a bookmark I wrote many years ago as I moved off the streets, one that summarizes my life:

“The best summary for my mission in life can be found in the statement, “obedience to Christ does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such away that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.”.. . .To be a living mystery is to practice the works of mercy, and like Dorothy Day commented: “To love to the point of folly.”

“I am a free lance, a tramp, a vagabond for Christ. I must go where Christ’s work is done.  I go like the wind.” Kawaga

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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