Clinging to Hope

John 6:30-35

The stone in this cross in the photo was given to me by a young man on Haight Street, four years ago. Through the years many a person has reached out and clung to that cross for hope. Two people held it as they died, another afraid to death after a beating held it, others have caressed it through the years. And I have clung to it in the past four years: after being raped, waiting to hear on a diagnosis, laying in the hospital from being stabbed, and after being a shot at, and it stays close to my heart each day, as I cling to the hope that cross offers. The hope of God’s presence, and the hope of life beyond death.

What the cross says to us is that an innocent man was nailed to it, nailed to it by people who were not bad, but afraid, and he suffered, died, and rose again for  the sins of humanity, and from that dying offers the hope of new life–not simply in eternity, but in the hear and now as we live among each other.

Br. David Vryhof, of the Society of Saint John the Evangelical, tells us:

“What is the way that Jesus himself went?  What is the say he sets out for those who would follow him?  The way of dying and rising.  It is the only way to God.  For Jesus and for many of his followers down through the ages, including Philip and James, whom we remember today, this death was literal as well as metaphorical.  But for most of us, the way of dying and rising is an internal process of transformation.”
“Inner Transformation” calls us to see this act of Jesus as setting into place the New Commandments of loving God and our neighbor as ourselves. Last week a young man commented as I vigil ed against the death penalty: “Jesus was innocent, rapists and murderers are not and deserve the  death penalty.” What he failed to see is that “Christ died for us while we were yet sinners,” and there is no mention of the particular sin for all of us are equal in our sinning, for all sin is destructive to life. Only in the transformation of love can new life spring forth. We all deserve justice and in the eyes of Christ we all deserve mercy.

Philip Workman Memorial Banquet

Protest Against the Death Penalty

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

At Noon

Stanyan and Haight Street

in front of

Golden Gate Park

“Justice Comes With Mercy”

Contact Fr. River Damien Sims

franciscansagainstdeathpenalty@gmail.com

415-305-2124