When you’re sixty-two, a lot of things come full circle. You start to get back some of the money you sent Social Security. You get old and forgetful, and you tend to get led around by the “belt around your waist.” If you’re lucky, you’re wife reminds you “of the near disaster that happened the last time you did that.” A lifesaver, that woman!
It is then that I recall the words of my sainted mother, “Don’t you have anything more important to do with your life than to get Rosaries into the jail,” and now I can proudly say, “Yeah, I can help the ladies from the backyard get their hair colored twice each month.”
In all the years I was a Chaplain I found myself giving theological advice to hundreds of different people, but it was really always the same advice: If you pay attention to every time Jesus says something in the Bible, a pattern emerges. If you keep track of who he’s talking to, you’ll realize that all the demanding, rebuking things are being said either to the Scribes and the Pharisees or to the Apostles, to the people with power. Whenever Jesus is talking to one of us, he is always healing and forgiving, and therefore deeply with us - just where we’re coming from. I say “coming from” because we’re all called on a journey to be just that way, both to ourselves, and more so, to each other.
Forgiveness is the rent isn’t the best advice I’ve ever given anyone, but it’s the advice I try to follow. Now when it seems as though the terrifying possibility that everyone is right means therefore both sides are wrong, I’m struck by how foreign “forgiveness” is to our political dialog. Accordingly, I have to wonder how comfortable Jesus would be with the process.
We live a simple life here, a sometimes healing life, and we try to deal with people’s pain in personal rather than political ways, and we invite you to join us, even if you’ve been gone a long time. All is forgiven; you are welcome here. Your gifts are needed and valued.