Two or three times a year, a group of people from St. Mary's Church prepare and serve a noon meal at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality on South Avenue in Rochester. Last Saturday 12 of us gathered to do this and to share a morning with each other as we worked to serve those whom most of us most of time forget.
These are men and women who are down on their luck and whose live have taken a turn for the worse. They are diverse in every way and each one has his or her own story. At least for this brief period of time, they know that they are not forgotten by a group of people who represent the mainstream of American society.
Whether or not they are changed, we who serve are changed...by our contact with them as ones being served and by contact with each other as those who serve. It is one way that the life of Christ within us can be expressed in the world as the Good News.
In today's gospel we read the passage from Matthew about the rich young man who approaches Jesus to ask what he needs to do to enter into life.
Jesus said, "Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself."
20The young man said, "I've done all that. What's left?"
21"If you want to give it all you've got," Jesus replied, "go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me."
We remember that the young man apparently had wealth and many things which he was loathe to get rid of and so he left Jesus with sorrow in his heart because he could not follow that injunction. We are all of us called to this same radical indifference to wealth and to the things that wealth buys. Whether or not we sell it all and give the proceeds to the poor, we are to base our lives on the life of the Divine within us and allow this life to flow through us into the world where it manifests itself in works of justice and mercy.
The 12 of us who gathered were trying to live out that tradition on Saturday in some small way.
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Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States