An Advent of Kindness

An Advent of Kindness

Matthew 15:29-37

“.. .he took seven loaves of the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.”

The scene in this story is that of five thousand people coming to hear Jesus, and as it became late, Jesus saw they were hungry with little food. I see it as a picture of the man in the door way next to my apartment building, the woman in the door down the street, and in all of those on the street.

The story of the five thousand is the sign of what happens when we let God enter our lives. We experience an Advent of Kindness. our self-centeredness  is transformed into seeing  people around us with empathy.  Jesus felt pain at the hunger of the people around him, he saw the suffering in their eyes, and his heart was moved with compassion, with empathy. And through his eyes and actions he opened the hearts of all around him who shared of what they head and all were filled.

On Thanksgiving Day I was sitting in a Doughnut Shop drinking some tea. A gentleman came in the door and with a big smile bought every one donuts saying, “This is the day to be kind to everyone. This makes me feel really good.” The thought that ran through my mind was what if every day was Thanksgiving Day  and we shared a meal with everyone around us. There would be very little hunger if that would happen in a City where 1 out of 4 people  go hungry each day.

Today as I watched President Bushes funeral there were people with many political differences, many hate each other, but in those moments they were united in paying respect to the former President.

In those moments there was real empathy which is the ability to comprehend with accuracy the precise thoughts and motivations of another in a way that we would say, “that is exactly where I am coming from.”

The story of the feeding of the five thousand is a story of empathy. When we have empathy we can identify with the needs of those around us, despite our differences and provide for one another with kindness.

Let us turn our Advent Kindness into a Year of Kindness! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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BOOK REVIEW:  The Lotus and the Rose By Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo

In this book Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo explore the inter-connections between  Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Christianity.  These connections are basically the one’s of all major religions–of compassion, care for humanity and animals, and of our environment. God is of no gender, and is all embracing. This book shows the many faces of God. It gives exercises of how to develop empathy, and an awareness of the presence of God.

This is not a criticism, but an observation, the book is written for people who are educated, and more into there spiritual journey. One can sense a distance in entering into the nitty gritty of life. In essence it is a good book for a certain group of people.

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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