Our Ministries
16 Apr

Third Sunday of Easter

Recognizing the Lord

After the Resurrection, Jesus has a hard time being recognized. Mary Magdalene thinks he is a gardener. The disciples on the road to Emmaus think he is a stranger who didn’t know anything about the week of events. And in this week’s Scripture, the men and women followers think he is a ghost. Until he eats real food with them.

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to eat real food with others who are considered gardeners, strangers, and ghosts. In many ways, these are often people I just don’t know, or I don’t know them YET! John in the Epistle for this weekend says we can’t say “I know him” referring to Jesus without keeping the commandments. Knowing people and actions that do not hurt people go hand in hand. If we know Jesus, or claim to know Jesus, we are treating people the way Jesus would. What would Jesus do, the famous rubber bracelet expression of some time ago, becomes a measure of both our knowledge of Jesus and the actions that follow.

For weeks now, I and a growing number of St. Francis parishioners, have been putting our faith into action. We, like Jesus, have been recognizing some of the same sufferings of our brothers and sisters in SA and Bexar County that Jesus confronted. With love, compassion, and mercy, Jesus recognized the ways in which those who had power exercised it was convenient to their way of thinking, their idea of economics, and their view of who should succeed. Jesus challenges and confronts; Jesus creates tension with those who have power and authority. Jesus acts to change the policies that kept people outside, separated from access to the fullness of life.

What was the disciples’ task, having recognized the risen Lord, and having seen that he “opened their minds to understand the scripture,”? Is our task now to preach the good news of God’s mercy and goodness to all? Is it our task to act on those teachings?

This Sunday from 3-4:30, citizens of all faiths, from all over the city will hold candidates for public office accountable for priorities that I feel confident Jesus would support. COPS/Metro leaders have spent many hours during this past year advocating for gardeners, and strangers, and “ghosts.” Ghosts can simply be the people we “don’t see” because we never go to their part of town.

In this past year, during this time of isolation, I realize that I have come to know my brothers and sisters on all sides of town through action with them. Now that I know them, I cannot turn away. I have “recognized them” in “breaking open the word” of Scripture.

I may not need or benefit from what they are asking for; but because we are the “community that holds all things in common” from Acts of the Apostles and the “beloved community”—our relationship to each other that activists (people who act on values, priorities, and love for each other) ACT on. To know them is to advocate for them—to live God’s commands of love of neighbor.

Putting the Gospel into action this week means that I will be at that Accountability Session on Sunday afternoon. I invite you to join me and others from our parish.

Here is the Zoom link to register: www.copsmetro.com/accountability_20210418

Here are the priorities identified that we are asking support for: http://sfasat.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/COPSMetro-Issues-Agenda.pdf