'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.' These opening lines from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities could equally describe our times.
"On the one hand there is the extraordinary goodness, generosity and hospitality of Muslims inviting others to iftar meals at the end of the day of fasting. It is offered to families, neighbors, people of other faiths and the wider community, in private homes and in public halls, served to a select few or offered magnanimously to hundreds.
On the other hand, there is the appalling violence inflicted by misguided elements in the name of a perverted religious ideology who have committed criminal assaults on innocent civilians in Manchester, Kabul, Marawi, London, Manila, Melbourne, and Tehran, to name but a few.
These two realities stand in stark contrast to one another. They are incompatible. They force us to choose. In which of these two worlds do we want to live? The world of fear, suspicion, terror, and violence? Or the world of peace, harmony, justice, and good relations?" Interfaith Observer
It is twilight in Golden Gate Park. Young men and women. middle age men and women, and older men and women are beginning the gather their sleeping bags and back packs to find a place to sleep in the chill of the night. We gather in a corner of the Park, near a man-made pond. Food is shared, clean needles, socks, are given out, we simply hang out and talk, and than we come to a time in which the bread and wine is brought out, and I simply break the bread, and lift the cup as the Eucharist is celebrated.
I am surrounded by individuals of all races, all beliefs, and I am reminded that as the bread is broken and the wine poured, that Christ becomes real and present--he allows his body to be broken, and blood shed again. He is dying in each of us, he dies in each one who has no place to sleep, food to eat; he dies in each one who is sick, and in pain. In this Sacrament he chooses friendship with all of humanity, regardless of race, religious practice, sexual orientation or belief , at all times, and in all places. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
+Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164
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