Remember the Poor, It Costs Nothing

“Remember the Poor, It Cost’s Nothing” Josh Billings

Matthew 23:23-26 The Message (MSG)

23-24 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?

25-26 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.”

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    Carl Nolte, recently wrote: I wondered about it (homeless people on the streets) even when camping by a river in the redwoods. What has become of us? Have we grown such calluses on our souls that we can look at this kind of agony in the streets and not see?  Is that what it means to be a citizen of a beautiful and famous city such as San Francisco? We did nothing (thinking of passing by homeless person in City) I can’t get it out of my mind.”

    As I look back the past twenty five years I remember a time when homeless people were noticed, acts of compassion were shown to them by the majority of people. I remember people like Fr. Louie Vitalie, former pastor of St. Boniface Church who advocated and showed love to people on the street, he is the founder of the current homeless program at the Church; Sr. Bernie Gavin, advocated for the homeless, Reverend Glenda Hope who founded housing and had worship services on the streets, and the list goes on. The question I ask: “Is where are the clergy in working with the homeless?” And than I remember–“advocacy on the streets for street people does not pay enough, and is too dirty.”  There was a sense of caring, a sense of support.  

    Now we ignore the person on the street, we see them as dirty, and we  scream at our politicians to do something. Sr. Joan Chittlister, tells us: “Politicians will always ask the question, “Is it expedient? But the prophets must ask the question, “Is it right?” That is the reason I do not trust politicians, they always seek out the expedient answer, and the majority come from privilege and wealth and have no idea of the pain of people on the street.  We need to ask the question “Is it right?”

    Our Gospel confronts all of us with our hypocrisy. We are all called to walk with each other as brothers and sisters, we are all called to suffer together so that others might not suffer.      We are all called to feed people we see hungry, to fight for our government to shift their funds to mental health care, housing, and food; to provide housing to someone if we can or to push our churches, and our businesses to open their doors and provide housing.

    We walk past churches with beautiful spaces that stand empty, empty buildings, kept empty in order for the owners to correct more money, and people are sleeping outside in the cold.

    Ritual, lovely speeches are empty, until they are put into action. We can “remember the poor”–and until we put our words into action–it cost’s nothing, and it leaves our lives empty, vacant, and is pure hypocrisy.     

    Materialism, our desire for money, for property is destroying us, it is destroying our humanity.

    So let us remember the poor, the homeless, and in doing so look at our selves and see our own poverty, our own pain, and love them, as we want to be loved.

    Let us take Carl Nolte’s words and put life into them, enter into the suffering, the pain, of others, and find life and joy and not walk away feeling guilty. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Bay Area Youth Led Climate Strike

Start: Friday, September 20, 2019•10:00 AM

Location:San Francisco Federal Building •90 7th Street, San Francisco , CA 94103

Host Contact Info: dulce.ceballos.a@gmail.com

+- (Adult allies are welcome)

At 10am, in San Francisco we call for a youth-led climate strike march, going to different targets that are contributing to climate breakdown, leaving our mark to let these places know what we are fighting for.

We will again start at the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and will connect targets in government, finance, and energy. For those that can’t join in person, we will be asking people to post on social media and tag our targets.

The following are our demands through the action week and why we are striking:

1.We demand a safe, healthy, and just planet.This climate crisis threatens our ability to live. If climate change continues on this course, we won’t be able to eat, breathe, or have safe shelter. In order to successfully fight the climate crisis we are facing, we must also fight the systems of white supremacy, racism, greed, and exploitation that have led us to it. Fighting for climate justice means fighting for a world that is safe, healthy, and just for all of its inhabitants. We must enact climate emergency plans at the local, national, and international level.

2. We demand justice and asylum for people displaced by climate change.Individuals and families displaced by climate change seek asylum in a safe place because they have nowhere else to go. Climate justice means abolishing ICE, closing concentration camps at the border, ending family separation, and creating inclusive new laws and regulations that treat everyone as human.

3. We demand policy based on science. We have eleven years before the effects of the climate emergency are irreversible. We can’t afford to compromise with climate change deniers. We must enact immediate legislation based on scientific analysis of carbon emissions and the ways that climate disasters impact certain communities. Science clearly shows that global temperatures are rising dangerously, and that we are on track to face unprecedented climate disasters. We demand a Green New Deal, a resolution that lays out a science-based plan to reach negative carbon emissions by 2030.

4. We demand that people, not corporations, influence politics.Representation and transparency are vital for successful democracies; corporate money must be taken out of politics. We demand all politicians sign the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.” We demand Citizens United must be overturned and super PAC’s be abolished. Corporate funding and donations from millionaires and billionaires must be replaced with public funding of elections in addition to small-dollar donations. To ensure that every vote counts, we must restore the Voting Rights Act, secure automatic registration for every citizen above 18, and re-enfranchise those convicted of felonies.

5. We demand equal rights for all.The government must be for the people, by the people; all policies and decisions made must be for the benefit of all. Black and trans lives matter; the Equality Act must be passed. The rights of Brown, Black, and Middle Eastern migrants must be respected. Women deserve full reproductive justice, and equity in the workplace. We demand universal background checks and Medicare for All in order to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone. We demand diversity and representation, and intersectionality must fuel the climate justice movement. Frontline communities must have a voice and leadership role, and we look to indigenous communities to lead the transition to a just and sustainable world.

6. We demand that humans protect the rights of nature.Just as humans have rights, nature has rights. Humans have a moral obligation to respect and protect plants, animals, and ecosystems. We demand that the rights of nature be legally represented. This includes legislation to provide sanctuary for endangered species, regulate hunting, and end deforestation, pollution, destructive fuel extraction, fracking, factory farming, and unsustainable agriculture. All life is interconnected, and we must live in harmony with the Earth.

7. We demand a just transition Countries and individuals that have contributed the most to climate change must be held accountable. We demand urgent climate action, including the GND, that protects vulnerable communities and create economic justice. Policies must respect workers’ rights ’to living wages and health care, young people’s rights to free, relevant education, and everyone’s right to affordable housing.

To quote Movement Generation:  Transition is inevitable. Justice is not. A just transition is the process of getting from where we are to where we need to be by transforming the systems of economy and governance. A just transition requires moving from a globalized capitalist industrial economy to linked local living participatory economies that provide well-being for all.

For more information about the actions you can do through the week please visit our website: youthvsapocalypse.org

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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We are in need of money for socks and food, our need for socks has increased three fold in the last year, and the Food bank is low on food, so we are having to purchase food at super markets. So please consider to give. Your donations are tax deductible. Give through mailing to P.O. Box 642656 or through Pay pal, which you can find on temenos.org. All checks to be tax deductible must be made to Temenos Catholic Worker. Thank you!

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