A Prophet’s Reward

A Prophet’s  Reward

II Kings 4:8-11, 14-16; Romans 6:1-11; Matthew 10:37-42

When Jesus talks of a reward for receiving a prophet or for giving a cold water he is not talking about some pie in the sky reward, Jesus is telling us that we will be received in to God’s inclusive divine love as we follow him in service.  We will arrive at a selflessness in knowing that God’s word will be proclaimed by other prophets who will follow. When I am asked, “Who is going to do  your work when your are gone?”  I simply reply–“God will send another.” We are only responsible for the “NOW”, the future is in God’s hands.  When we follow Christ we know that the prophet’s reward is a transformation of self in the process of serving those who have so little in material goods and goods of the spirit, which culminates in the ultimate transformation into God’s love for all eternity.

Henri Nouwen describes that transformation:

“What are we going to do when we get home? When the two sons of the parable of the prodigal son both have returned to their father, what then? The answer is simple: they have to become fathers themselves. Sons have to become fathers; daughters have to become mothers. Being children of God involves growing up and becoming like God. Jesus doesn’t hesitate to say this: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.” (See Matthew 5:48 and Luke 6:36). How? By welcoming home our lost brothers and sisters in the way our Father welcomed us home.”

We can take the blinders off our eyes as we move on the streets, and turn our eyes to look at those sleeping in our doorways , and alleys as our brothers and sisters.  We leave our tribal boundaries behind, and move inclusively into God’s family. We can give people a cup of cold water:

1. Feed People in your Neighborhood. Stop and give one person a day some food, talk to them, encourage them, get to know them as human beings. Nearly seven years ago, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco opened its doors to the ministry of Temenos Catholic Worker, and through us they have fed thousands during this time. Each day as I walk on the streets I talk to people, feed them. Feed one person, talk to one person. One at a time—that is all we have to do.

2. Be More Tolerant of Tents in your Neighborhood and Encourage the Setting up of Restrooms. Let’s face the reality that homelessness is increasing nationwide, let’s face the fact that there are human beings in front of us who need basic necessities. Let us be tolerant of the tents in our neighborhood and encourage the placing of public restrooms and showers in reach of everyone. I can pay to use a restroom—hundreds can not–let us help our leaders to see the need and make that provision.

3. Meet People Where They are. Let’s meet people where they are, without imposing our expectations upon them. We are all different. We all have our own individual needs. So let’s simply meet people where they are, without judgment or expectation. I am like a marshmallow with a hard center. You can chew on me for a while, but if you bite down too much, it hurts. I expect people to respect my differences, as we all do. So let us meet people where they are. We are all different–like the rays of the rainbow–that is the beauty of creation.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



Temenos Catholic Worker

Franciscans Against the Death Penalty




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