Sunday, January 24, 2016

What Shall I Do, Sir?

“I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’ The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.’”  Acts 22:10

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  Mark 16:15-17

Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gift which we are about to receive from your bounty to our table through Christ, our Lord (and Chef Laval).

Our faith is contingent upon two equal forces: listening and acting.  The readings this week drive home that point.  Just yesterday, Jesus in the Synagogue told his neighbors that the scripture was fulfilled in their hearing.  Once we hear, we are sent out of the synagogue to begin the work and deliver the Good News.

Go. Proclaim.  Believe.  Baptize. Drive.  Save.  Speak.

Delivery of the “glad tiding to the poor,” is not something we can do in words alone. It takes “work” combined with “words” to fulfill the promise of the Kingdom.  Just like Jesus was present to the disciples and to the poor, we have to be present as well.

Today, I got an e-mail message from Fr. John Adams at SOME.  During the Jonas Blizzard of 2016, the weather forecast was not glad tidings for the poor.  The cold and snow invaded their open-air bedrooms.  The poor sought shelter inside at places like the SOME dining room.  While the power brokers in the city closed down the government to make way for the snow and the plows, the workers and volunteers who fuel the work of SOME and Matha’s Table and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House and other programs could not sleep in. The doors had to be opened.  The meals had to be prepared.  The breakfast and lunch had to be served. 

I will let Fr. John’s Epistle to the Virginians pick up the story…

Before 5 am, SOME’s Dining Room Chef, Laval, opened his front door and was greeted with a wall of snow. 

After a few stumbles and some digging, he was in a borrowed 4WD vehicle on his way to open the Dining Room. 

In other parts of the city, fellow staff members and volunteers were braving the storm, on foot and in trucks, to make it in to SOME. 

Chef Laval and his team started whipping up eggs, sausage, grits, hot chocolate and coffee.

To serve to hungry guests waiting in the Dining Room and making their way down O Street outside.

Thanks to Laval, Mike, Ray, Kristi, Lynette, Terrance, Yvette, Carthell and the other SOME staff members and volunteers whose dedication embodies our mission.

After all, their spirit embodies and inspires our mission as well, no? 

What Shall I Do, Sir?  Get up and go into Fairfax, and Arlington and Alexandria and Washington, and Manassas and Falls Church. Drive out the demon of hunger or homelessness or loneliness.  This is not just Jesus’ mission and Laval’s mission. It is everyone’s mission.  This is your mission. To whom will you appear today?  Who will you be feeding today?

(If you are snowed in, you can always support SOME with a gift made via their website).

No comments: