Genesis, if you read this, please forgive me; it comes from my heart!
Yes, there is another Genesis, one you likely do not know. She comes through our Open Door most every Tuesday — while I’m here, 12:00–2:00 — to pray. She’s from Florida, a student at NYU, and adorable. One day she came in, nervous: “I’m taking my Finals!” On her way out I gave her a hug. The following Tuesday, she bounced in happily.
“Did you ace them?”
“I did well.”
Before Christmas, she brought me a beautiful note of appreciation.
In today’s reading from Matthew, Jesus talks of sheep and goats, and of people who welcomed Him and those who did not. He’s talking about us.
The Open Door is precisely a mission of welcoming the “stranger.” It’s a mission in which we have the opportunity to put our bodies where our mouths are. Through the dedication of volunteers, our schedule is [barely] consistent enough that neighbors like Genesis can come in regularly, trusting that the Church will be open.
As for those who come for the first time from all over the world…I can only guess at what they find.
Most stop to chat; most are visibly moved by the peace and beauty they find in this lovely place. Even those who dash in and out: Who knows what speck of God’s grace stays with them?
Grace works both ways. I am as moved by Genesis as she is by me.
Think about joining our Door Team. We need more volunteers to be able to keep the door open 12 to 3, every day. Talk to Sirkka Kyle, or to Andrew in the parish office about available time slots. I can’t imagine a lovelier Lenten “sacrifice” than mortifying your body by parking it at the Ascension Open Door, to “welcome the stranger.”
Think about those sheep and goats. I’m just sayin’….