Dandelions In the Spring


Matthew 5:14-16:

“Here is another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  If I make you light bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?”  I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hill top, on a light stand–shine!  Keep open house;be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven!”


There is no happy-after at the end of the Hunger Games series.  There is hope and some joy, but no fairy tale ending. The rebellion does not make the world perfect.  The dystopia of Panem does not suddenly morph into a utopian paradise free of corruption where no one hungers and oppression and injustice disappears. The masterminds behind the rebellion have moved on to the next thing to entertain the masses–a televised singing competition. And the hero of the story Katniss the girl on fire is left broken. Katniss commented that during the process “I feel like dough, being kneaded and reshaped again and again,” and in the end as she comes out of her depression her brokenness has healed, and in her healing she finds strength outside the political process in mother hood. She realizes that love always involves the risk of suffering, but like the dandelion in the Spring it brings hope.

Our  Mayor promises more services for the homeless—yet he is going to usher them out with the coming of the Super Bowl. It is advertised there is plenty of food in town, yet facts show one in four go hungry in San Francisco.

Every day of my life I feed people who have no food, I hold people’s hands who have no health insurance and are sick; I spend hours with people who have not had a home in years, and some are waiting for a promised home–ie waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Personally I have no hope in the government resources, I have no hope in the political process. 

My hope comes in those who are the light of the world, who get their hands dirty feeding the homeless, advocating, fighting for housing, never giving up.  For they are God in Christ at work. And in that hope I know that frankly there are no solutions–only like the dandelion waking up each day with a new blossom bringing the reign of God in my little, very little corner of the world.

So in the nine days remaining in Advent I issue an invitation to you, a very personal invitation–be the light of the world–simply walk out and be the light. Last night I served a meal at one of the shelters and this gentleman commented, “you are the guy who always gives me socks and a candy bar at Golden Gate and Market when you stop at the light.”  I did not know him personally, but he remembered an act of kindness. You do not have to change the world, give an act of kindness, pay attention to another human being and see them as a brother or sister.  That is my very personal invitation to you these next nine days.  Be a dandelion! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www.temenos. org


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