SHOULD WE ALL WANT TO BE BEGGARS?
While celebrating Mass, and even in the most sacred moments of the Consecration, I have seen fit to swat a fly with the purificator lest he land inside the chalice. Open air markets in Latin America or Africa is where vendors struggle to keep the flies from swarming their fresh fruit display. Flies, surely with a purpose in Creation, are a nuisance. Because of our downtown location and because we are open seven days a week, keeping the bathrooms decent for use can be a challenge and a nuisance. Not every beggar wants to visit Daily Bread and the two meals offered each day. They are cash-only patrons. They can make a nuisance of themselves. Europe, almost daily, faces a sea of terrified, hungry and desperate people and seems helpless to muster a response. From the borders to the camps, from the people smugglers to the navies that patrol the seas, desperate souls can quickly become a nuisance. Nuisance can blend into the downtown landscape or the high seas, almost as to be rendered invisible by their daily presence. I have noticed myself that nuisance becomes annoying very quickly. When I get annoyed, I love quick, permanent and off my desk solutions. And then came Pope Francis and his chat with the pilgrims this past Wednesday, June 15. “How often do we feel annoyed when we see people on the street- people in need, sick, hungry? How often, when we find ourselves facing the many refugees, do we feel annoyed? That is why the Word of God admonishes us, reminding us that indifference and hostility render us blind and deaf.” Now, in the Year of Mercy, suddenly some of the nuisances that have become annoying are off limits. The Holy Father made a direct reference to the blind beggar on the side of the road as described in Luke 18: 38-43. The registered parishioners, accompanied by their rector, try to silence the nuisance by placing him out of sight but Jesus makes him the center of attention, restores his sight and offers him Salvation. And the Holy Father asks, SHOULD WE ALL BE BEGGARS?
God Bless, Fr. John