Gotta love that brood of vipers

John’s passion, will it ever find satisfaction?

Met a parishioner today who wanted to volunteer
to help our homeless neighbors.
“I can do something that doesn’t require physical contact?”
Touch them, seriously, do I have to?
But her cash is indeed welcome
to provide creature comforts–
bus passes, restaurant gift cards, socks.
That counts as touching, right?

John’s passion, will it ever find satisfaction?

And what about you, aghast that anyone
would ask that question
with such revulsion.
Your own repulsion, as if a snake had reared its hood.
Well, that’s a bad metaphor, because you love snakes;
maybe not love, but they’re God’s creatures, too,
oft maligned, oft destroyed (that saint made his reputation by
clearing them out of Ireland).

Your soul recoils
Isn’t she a viper because her desire
to give prophylactic help,
to remain untainted,
doesn’t that make her sterile?
Doesn’t that make her blind, and render,
yet again, 
the homeless invisible
“There are homeless in this hygenic place?” 
Yes, here. And here. And here.

John’s passion, you brood of vipers, when will it gain satisfaction?

Are you worth more just because,
regardless of your unfitness, 
you would yet be in the trenches?
Would not hesitate (unlike that dear rock
on which the church is founded)
to untie the thongs of his sandals,
enduring dung-tinged dirt that would sting
any viper’s scent-seeking tongue,
you would welcome and wash.
Be a foundation of hospitality.

When will your passion find its satisfaction?
Or are you looking for self sanctification?

Open your heart to all,
forego judgment,
yield to compassion.
God can raise stones in your place, too.

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