“The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying: give without pay.” Matthew10:7. English Standard Version

Recently there have been conversations on FACE BOOK condemning Mother Teresa in the way in which she served people. In her final book that was published after her death she described her immense depression, thinking of suicide, that she experienced during many of those years.

I identify with her. I experience the same depression, I think of suicide often at times. This past year an a half I have experienced so much depression, and thoughts of suicide because of being alone, and constantly criticized, I hear one word of encouragement for ever hundred of criticism. Like her I live with that pain, and those feelings of being totally alone. And like her I know this is the life to which I am called, and one which I have chosen, and the one which brings me much joy as well.

And  like her I pull my boots back on and keep going. The Scriptures this morning call us to live out the reign of God each day. If each one of us would cut back on our own resources, and choose to live on what we need, feed one hungry person a day, spend time with one homeless person a day, provide clothing, and fight for health care and housing with our government, the reign of God will draw near. People are criticizing Mayor Breed for not doing more for the homeless, the truth is she has done more than any mayor since I have lived in San Francisco, it is that it is increasing, because it takes a village to solve the issue. Rather than criticize the Mayor we need to get out  on the streets and do the work of the Kingdom.

I spent two hours with lady last night who was evicted a month ago, she is living in her car, she makes $15.00 an hour without health care; her friends have all disappeared. And that is what happens when we suffer, when we are in need our friends disappear.

One of the reasons that happens is because we see in that person in trouble ourselves, and our own  fear of losing our housing, livelihood, being sick, and dying, all is placed before us–we are afraid. We are not evil people, we are simply afraid.

Thomas Bell wrote: “Out of the middle of the night’s darkness, or bringing me to a sudden, chilling halt during the day the thought comes: This can’t be happening. Not to me. Me with a malignant tumor? Me with only a few months to live? Nonsense. And I stare up at the darkness, or out at the sunlit street, and try to encompass it, to feel it. But it stays unreal. Perhaps the difficulty is my half-conscious presumption that such things happen, should happen, ony to strangers, who really don’t mind. Whereas I am me. Not a stranger. Not other people.Me!”

Dorthy Day talked about the long loneliness, and that we find hope, comfort only in community. We all face the same issues, the same fate. An Italian proverb tells us: “Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back into the same box.”

People are always asking why I do what I do, and the only answer is given by Br. David All

“A mystery is something that cannot be explained, something beyond human comprehension. We can learn to grasp the meaning of Holy mysteries only by prayer and meditation. “

My commitment is that of today’s Gospel:

“There is a a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.” Matthew 10: 21-23

And than there is the remaining question for you: “What will you do?”

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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