With all the snow we had on Sunday morning, I didn’t think anyone would show up for Mass. Surprise! We had most of our usual folks plus someone new. Annie and Mike O’Reilly were there, all the way from Coneseus!
As we drove up South Ave under the bridge, Capo said “Isn’t that our friend from church?” I was surprised to see one of our regular guys trudging through the snow, thinking the weather was too awful for him to be out in. He is a man who often mentions his brushes with the law. He’s in and out of jail, he says, and has a testy relationship with the police. I never understood it, and wondered what he was doing to get in trouble.
I would have stopped to pick him up but that underpass isn’t a safe spot for stopping. So we went on to St Joe’s and found the parking lot clear, thanks most likely to Rich who works so hard to keep St Joe’s running smoothly. Coming around to the front door, what do we see in the block ahead but our friend, standing in the middle of the intersection at South and Mt Hope, waving his arms and yelling for all he’s worth at the people driving by: “SLOW THE F*** DOWN!!! SLOW THE F*** DOWN!”
On the one hand, it was a public service. And on the other, now I get the in-and-out-of-jail thing. By the time he made it in to Mass, he was calm and there was no hint of what we’d just seen outside.
So that’s one of the things I love about St Romero’s. You just never know what’s going to happen on Sunday morning.
In this week’s Gospel, we see people taking apart a roof to make a hole to get someone in to Jesus. There’s something glorious about those times we jump over barriers for love. Our God does it all the time, trying to get to us. How wonderful when we do it, trying to get to God. And though I don’t recommend standing in the middle of an intersection, waving your arms and shouting at people, how wonderful to break out of our predictable normal to help in whatever way we can. Jesus seems to have accepted that moment of breaking through barriers and destruction of property with total equanimity! I’ll bet all he looked at was the love.
And friends, please do drive carefully in the snow. You are worth so much more than getting someplace on time.
Love and light to all
“This is what God says, "Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
rivers in the wasteland”
Isaiah 43:18-19 (The Message).
Ash Wednesday Mass with distribution of ashes, Wednesday February 22, 4:30 pm in the St Joe’s dining room. Come celebrate the start of Lent with us!
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620