On a autumn afternoon, I meet a friend for tea. We
sit outside, kitty- corner from one another, vying for the last rays of
sunshine peeking over the roof of the café and warm our hands with cups of Earl
Grey. It has been months since we’ve seen each other, and yet time and distance
quickly elapse as we converse. We speak of essential things: creativity,
imagination, suffering, joy, sorrow, poverty, hunger, mercy, fear, surrender
and gratitude. We speak of a Love that is greater than anything we could
imagine. A Love which fills us to overflowing. We sit in the sacred mystery of
it all, grateful.
This friend, with her love for those in need, heads up a
communal meal offered twice a month at her church. (She gently corrects me), “ I
don’t head this up. I am the lowliest among a group of holy men and women volunteers who are facilitating
this communal meal”. All are welcome:
the homeless, the young family who can’t make ends meet, the elderly in need of
conversation over a hot meal, even you and me! Some look poor– like they live on the
margins. Others do not. But they all come seeking solace. Seeking mercy. Seeking
connection. And the numbers are growing. Last month over 100 folks came for a
meal on an October Thursday evening.
In a world which sometimes seems to have gone off the rails, mercy still comes through ordinary means. Henri Nouwen gives us much to ponder:
poor are the center of the Church. But who are the poor? At first we might
think of people who are not like us: people who live in slums, people who go to
soup kitchens, people who sleep on the streets, people in prisons, mental
hospitals, and nursing homes. But the poor can be very close. They can be in
our own families, churches or workplaces. Even closer, the poor can be
ourselves, who feel unloved, rejected, ignored, or abused.
precisely when we see and experience poverty – whether far away, close by, or
in our own hearts – that we need to become the Church; that is, hold hands as
brothers and sisters, confess our own brokenness and need, forgive one another,
heal one another’s wounds, and gather around the table of Jesus for the
breaking of the bread. Thus, as the poor we recognise Jesus, who became poor
So come. Let us break bread together. Let us rejoice in
the gifts of love and mercy we receive so graciously each day.
If you are interested in checking out the communal meal:
Divine Savior Catholic Church in Orangevale
2nd and 5th Thursdays in November, 2nd and 4th Thursdays
in December @ 6 PM.
Any inquires may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
via Always Mercy http://ift.tt/2zEbmUR