Heaven Begins Now

Heaven Begins Now!

All Saint’s Day, November 1, 2021

You’re Blessed-Matthew 5:1-12 The Message

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of competing or fighting. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

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To be blessed is to be claimed by God, to be brought into the work and will of God, and to find yourself in God’s future.

    Jesus talks to the poorest of the poor, and he is not saying their poverty, mourning, conflict, etc, will be over soon, but they are loved by God, called to work and do the will of the God of healing, and justice, and to find healing in the future.

There is a story told of two buckets-one made perfectly, the other with torn holes in one side.  Both were used to carry water to a field.  One day while the owner of the buckets was resting, the defective bucket asked him, “Why do you continue to use me, I am just a screw-up, I spill most of my water?” The owner smiled, and replied, “Look at your side of the road, where the water has been poured–all along you see beautiful flowers, and plants, what greater gift can be given than to provide beauty in the midst of barrenness.”

I think of people, who were buckets full of holes:

My parents, old school southerners, were raised in a time of deep segregation, and yet they were examples of loving everyone regardless of their color, feeding anyone in need, and giving me a deep faith, and a heart of compassion; Dorothy Day, a woman who never married, had a child out of wedlock, and an abortion, who became one of the greatest champions of the poor; and the ministers of my childhood and early ministry, while homophobic transmitted a love of ministry that will not let me go.

All broken buckets, which have been instruments of God’s love on earth and now are in the Great Cloud of Witnesses, continue to encourage me in ministry.

 I remember with great love the youth on the street, with whom I have walked through the years, drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves, murderers, none perfect by any means, who have been murdered, and died of overdoses- in each person was seen the love of God each of whom now has found healing in their future in the reign of God.

If you can not breathe into it–well, that’s when heaven comes to earth, because earth is when heaven starts, for all who are willing to live into it right now. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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A Service of Remembering Those Who Have Died in the Year 2021

Noon, Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Golden Gate Park, at Stanyan and Haight

Come, Name, and Remember Your Friends and Loved Ones!

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——————————-Fr. River Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.P.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164http://www.temenos.org415-305-2124Snap chat: riodamien2

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