Logs and Splinters

“Splinters and Logs”

John 14:21-26

    In our Gospel today we hear of Jesus talking about love and caring for our neighbor, and we see hear of Judas==”not the Iscariot”, for the “Iscariot” is the one who fell into the sin of betrayal. The truth is all of us sin in that we do not love our neighbor’s, and in  judging others.

    I attended a “Ramadan Interfaith  Event” last night. We came together as brothers and sisters who share the same God, as one’s who reach out in love; we had police security because of fear.

At my table there were two individuals who looked at me, seeing my collar, and would make snide remarks, about “ALL priests being sexual predators”, repeatedly, and than turn away. One of their  friend’s  told me, “they  can not  help it they are atheist’s  and people mistreat them.” It is time that we take responsibility for our actions.

    As I sat there, keeping my mouth shut-I was exhausted by the end of the night–I thought of Father Louie Vitalie, and Fr. John Dear whom I am going to hear tonight. Both are courageous men who have faced persecution, and threats on their lives because of their positions on peace, homelessness, and being ecumenical; I thought of a priest who ran a home for people with AIDS here in San Francisco,  many years ago, people who had no where to go; I think  of the thousands of priests across the world who live in poverty, put their lives’ on the on the line every day of their lives; and as one of the persons, in their seventies , followed me to my car, making veiled threats, I turned around and looked in their  eyes and said very firmly: ” I have taken your verbal abuse, and now I feel threatened, for three hours, and what I  have to say is this, I have spent all of my adult life as a priest, I have suffered, almost died, been slandered, my reputation always on the line, but I have tried to serve Jesus, and there are millions now, and before who do the same. And so my words to you are to look into your own eyes and take the log out before you try to take the splinters out of mine , and my brothers and sisters in ministry.” and I stepped  into the car and drove away.

    It is time that we begin to take the “logs” out of our own eyes, and remember the words of Clement of Alexander, “There is but one River of truth, but many streams pour into it, from this side and from that,” and see our differences as but a sign of God’s celebration of our lives; and to see that people in all professions, and all aspects of life commit the “sin” of not loving our neighbors in the worst of ways, and our responsibility is to route  out that sin in justice, but with mercy, and live our lives in service to the best of our responsibility.

“I am a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164




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