Rags, Rolls and Miracles
I love the story of the loaves and fishes.
Jesus answers the doubts of his disciples with overflowing love – love not only from Him, but spread by and through each member of the crowd. There can be no limit to His generosity, and the more His followers shared it, the more comes pouring out.
The company I work for occasionally offers the opportunity to do a volunteer day feeding the homeless of San Francisco at Glide Memorial Church in the gritty Tenderloin neighborhood.
I have volunteered several times, and every time I do I’m moved beyond words.
There is something about giving food to the hungry that strips away whatever it is in me that resists seeing love in the world. There they stand, some neatly dressed, some in little more than street-grimed rags, and they silently ask me to feed them, and in their vulnerability and their wounds I see the Face of Christ, and Him crucified.
I always think “Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my Roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
I see an old man sitting at one of the tables, missing his front teeth, and I see another old man offer him his soft dinner roll with a look of humble and saintly kindness, and then I realize that those two old men are Christ, showing me the Way to Heaven.
I see a man softly ranting, at once incoherent and deeply convinced, and see the other diners at his table listen attentively, as if he were a professor discussing the classics in a graduate seminar, and there I see the most simple and beautiful mercy being made plain.
I see men and women pouring each other cups of water, and responding with simple gratitude, and it is the wedding at Cana, writ small.
The Kingdom is at hand.
Glory to God in the Lowest.
Station 10: Jesus is stripped
Behold, my other self,
the poorest King who ever lived.
The cross – my deathbed –
even this is not my own.
Yet who has ever been so rich?
Possessing nothing, I own all:
my Father’s Love.
If you too would own everything,
be not solicitous
about your food, your clothes,
Lord, I offer You my all —
Whatever I possess
And more – my self.
Detach me from the craving for
prestige, position, wealth.
Root out of me
all trace of envy of my neighbor
Who has more than I.
Release me from the vice of pride,
My longing to exalt myself,
And lead me to the lowest place.
May I be poor in spirit, Lord,
So that I can be rich in You.