Every day — no, four and five and six times a day — something happens, someone says something to me, I see myself doing some dumb thing that does not exactly match up to living a life that becomes the Gospel, I read a bit from the news, I stumble on one of of us doing some thing unbelievably terrible to another of us — and I find myself wanting to say or shout or proclaim or whisper or scribble in the dust some line from the Gospel according to the One Who came.
A few minutes ago, I came across yet another sermon from yet another preacher who gave us yet another set of reasons why the admonition to sell what we have and give everything to the poor was a big deal and yet did not actually apply to his flock.
After some 50 years or so in the Church, I am still waiting to hear the sermon where a minister — a priest, brother, evangelist, prophet, messenger, so on and so forth — stands and says, 'This day, I have sold everything and given it to the poor.'
I am still waiting to see forgiveness being given seventy times seven, still waiting for the other cheek to be turned, still waiting for the self-proclaimed first among us to be willing to go without a parking pass, much less to go last.
I mention this not because I am holier than anyone. I am very certain that I am holier than no one. If you know me at all, you know that this one thing about me is at least the one true thing about me that I have seen and said.
What I am, these days, is a man who is trying to listen deeply, struggle mightily, and pray constantly with fear and trembling as I read the red letters.
No wonder people ignore the red letters of the Gospel and press on to the letters of those who after the One Who came, the One Who wrote no letters, as I recall.