Blessed Are the Poor!

Blessed Are the Poor!

Matthew 5:1-12

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    Who are the poor? The poor are those without money, voice, power or influence. The poor are those who are empty inside, who look for meaning and purpose in life, who hunger for something more beyond themselves. The poor are the ones who have no sense of others, of the fragility of human beings, and only think of themselves.

    Growing up an older black lady was our nanny,  her name was Lucy. She lived in  the “projects”, the segregated poor area of our town.

    While she was poor in physical resources Lucy was rich in faith, rich in knowing and loving God, and she transmitted God’s  love to this young, rebellious, smart ass kid. 

    Lucy was my first “seminary professor”, from the time I was four-until fourteen officially, and afterward unofficially.

    When it was announced I was taking my first student parish Lucy came by, and said: “Mr. River, remember when you put your hand to plow, you can not look back, or you will turn to salt.”
Those words have stuck with me. They remind me of my call, and that to turn away from the call would send me into a life of meaninglessness, it would be death.

    I am reminded of those words each day as l give food, socks, and care to young men and women who have so little, subject to the whims of people around them, ignored, and abused.

    I am reminded of those words each time I sit with a person at San Francisco General waiting for hours to see a doctor, a victim of not having health insurance.

    I am reminded of those words each time that someone threatens,  physically abusive, or  speaks badly of me.

    And the greatest gift Lucy imparted to  is that there is no such thing as the color of skin. We are all children of God, and all deserve to be treated as such. She imparted that each person is a child of God, to which only God can judge, and we can not.

    And now her spirit continues to  remind me “Once you put your hand to the plow, you can not look back.”

    We are all poor in one way or another and God stands to fill our poverty with riches, through our sharing with one another. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164




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