The Place Where We Belong


Feast of the Holy Family
41Luke 2:41-52: Now His parents were going every year to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. 42When He became twelve years old, they were going up according to festival custom. 43As they headed home after completing the days, the boy Yeshua remained in Jerusalem, but His parents didn’t know. 44Supposing He was in the caravan, they went a day’s journey, then began looking for Him among relatives and friends. 45When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46After three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the center of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all those hearing Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers. 48When His parents saw Yeshua, they were overwhelmed. And His mother said to Him, “Child, why did you do this to us? Look! Your father and I were searching for You frantically!” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know that I must be about the things of My Father?” 50But they did not grasp the message He was telling them. 51Then He went down with them to Natzeret and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these words in her heart. 52And Yeshua kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
This has been an awesome Christmas! For I am in the place I truly belong!

I came home last night and laid down at 8:00 p.m. and did not wake up until 3:00 p.m. today. I was exhausted, from being up most of the night listening to kids, and being on the street. To me, it was simply being with “family.”  The guys on the street are my “family,”  And I am “family” to them.

We are all “family.” Jesus calls us to move out of our “tribes” and be family to everyone. I have biological family, and we talk occasionally, but when I have been ill, in the hospital, and when I die, they will not be there, my real family is my friends whom I know, and trust, not “blood”.  They are my family.

On the Haight yesterday as gifts were given, tears spattered on faces, many told me “this is the only gift I have been given,” one young guy threatening suicide Friday night, said his family would not even take his phone calls, he is 15 years old.

In my years here, I have seen very few Mexican or Asian kids on the street, for they are taken care of by their communities. I have a young friend in the Mexican community who took care of me when I was first hurt. These two ethnic groups know how to be family.

I challenge everyone to take off their blinders, let go of their fear, and be family to people who truly are in need–homeless, those threatened of losing their homes, people who live alone–be the Holy Family. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 64264

San Francisco, CA 94164


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