Journey on the Edge

Journey on the Edge

January 3, 2021—Feast of the Epiphanny

Gospel Mt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod, 
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled, 
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, 
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, 
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly 
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word, 
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, 
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures 
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, 
they departed for their country by another way.

    Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the revelation of Christ to the world, the revelation of the healer, and redeemer of the world.

    I am living a Journey on the Edge as I have always walked, but have never felt it like this before.

    I have held the hands of people who have died, the state is on complete lockdown, people close to me have the virus; I have listened to a number of people who question their faith, do not understand why God has let this happen, and am spending 10-15 hours a day sitting and listening to individuals with the disease or who are in danger. My head is spinning today.

    For years now I have looked the face of death in the face, stood with people suffering on the streets, and have come close to death myself. Death does not scare me.

    Like Paul, “Death where is thy sting, where is thy victory.” Death will come, it is in “working out my salvation,” in which I live, in order to hear the words: “Well done my good and faithful servant,” so I live, I have fun, I enjoy life to its fullest, even in the darkest of moments.

    I listen to people, they tell me their deepest secrets and fears. Nothing fazes me, there is no judgment brought.

    I am not brave, not a good counselor, but an awkward fool, who sometimes wonder if God was telling me to “Go plow corn,” rather than go preach the Gospel,” and from my personal experience there are a number of things I have learned:

    Jesus is real, a living being, who has suffered and still suffers with us. He has been my best friend, my brother when there is no one else; I am never alone.

    This pandemic is not “God’s will”, it is a result of our human errors. The truth is we have free will, and when I am told if there was a God, he would do something, well what I know we all want our freedom of choice, look at those who oppose the vaccine, and wearing masks–God would have an eternal rebellion on his hands. We were not created to be robots. We are created to have a choice, to choose to move to a relationship with God.

    In Jesus we are given a choice to love, to care, and now is a time in which we can share our lives, money, and love.

    To be open with people, to let them into our lives, where they can share anything without judgment is a way of healing the loneliness and heartache around us.

    The future comes in our actions and our prayers,  now and through us.

    Fr. Henri Nouwen offers what I have found is the only way of dealing with life, crisis, and facing death–for all of us are headed for death at some time or other:

“”In the biblical understanding, our heart is at the center of our being. It’s not a muscle, but a symbol for the very center of our being. Now the beautiful thing about the heart is that the heart is the place where we are most ourselves. It is the very core of our being, the spiritual center of our being. Solitude and silence, for instance, are ways to get to the heart, because the heart is the place where God speaks to us, where we hear the voice that calls us beloved. This is precisely the most intimate place. In the famous story, Elijah was standing in front of the cave. God was not in the storm, God was not in the fire and not in the earthquake, but God was in that soft little voice (see 1 Kings 19: 11–12). That soft little voice … speaks to the heart. Prayer and solitude are ways to listen to the voice that speaks to our heart, in the center of our being. One of the most amazing things is that if you enter deeper and deeper into that place, you not only meet God, but you meet the whole world there.” Henri Nouwen


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

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