Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Daniel agreed to walk me up Market Street in San Francisco to Church for dinner. He was a “regular” there. On the way he told me many stories, and related an occasional off-color joke. I was grateful for him. We arrived at Most Holy Redeemer Church. He began to give out cigarettes to people, and it made them happy.
Soon, Daniel and 100 other homeless men and women were enjoying a four-course family dinner with their friends— parishioners, volunteers, and others from the street. Conversation abounded, good smells wafted through the room, and life was palpable. This was a house of prayer. There was no price, and nobody was better than anyone else. People, like Daniel, just loved each other.
We are all capable of this kind of love. Let us discern how we may be called to “flip tables,” in order to create a welcoming space for everyone.
I remember a house where all were good
To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood…
God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,
Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,
Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.
—Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., excerpt from “In the Valley of the Elwy”