Being Crushed by the Crowds

Being Crushed by the Crowds

Mark 3: 7-12, “Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready so he would not be crushed by the crowds.”

The crowd’s are crushing, you don’t have to think, you simply go along, it’s easy,  crowd’s  are destructive, crowd’s kill emotionally and physically.

Arlie Russell Hochschild, writes in her book, Strangers in Their Own Land, how we Americans are so divided because we stay in our own “tribes,”–rich white with rich white, queer with queer, black with black, brown with brown, liberal with liberal, conservative with conservative. That failure to mix, share, and respect has lead to much division and hate.

The past few days I have been making arrangements for my memorial service, and the disposition of my body when I die. It is simply a practical step, that must be done. And as I have been preparing these plans I have reviewed the past year.  As I have walked with a person going through a murder trial, I have found people pulling away–because I say simply I see the broken face of Christ in him.  I see his goodness.  It does not mean I am giving support to the most evil of evils, but within him their is goodness, and he is God’s child. It is like the man who killed my son, as I gave him the Sacrament of  Reconciliation as he was dying, my heart saw him as the child of God.  I loved him in those moments with all my heart, but I did not like him, and I forgave him.  All of us are broken human beings and it is in admitting that, and seeing in the presence of Christ a new beginning do we grow.  I am against the death penalty because first of all in human hands it is imperfect, innocent people are executed, secondly it does not give a chance for the person who committed the crime to find reconciliation and to grow, and vengeance only causes more violence.

We need to step away from the crowd and look at ourselves, and in so doing look at our own brokenness, and  see ourselves in each other, and  walk with compassion with each other. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Join me tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to Vigil Against the Death Penalty at 350 McAllister Street–if you are nice I might even buy you breakfast.

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw


Temenos Catholic Worker

Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc

Franciscans Against the Death Penalty


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