My dear sisters and brothers,
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him…he was despised and rejected by others. Isaiah 53:2-7. This was our brother Ramon. He was an alcoholic who lived on the streets and a frequent visitor to our food lines, clothing bank and medical clinic. One day, Ramon opened his heart to Armando, the Mission social worker.
As a young man, organized crime tried to recruit Ramon and he refused. The consequence was that his whole family was killed which drove him went down the path of alcohol. He only hoped that God would forgive him for falling into vice. It was the only thing that helped him to forget and not feel guilty about the death of his family. Armando cried with Ramon and told him that only God knows why He sends us difficult tests in our lives. As men we do not understand and that only the love of God saves us.
Since he had no relatives, the Mission arranged a simple service accompanied not only by staff but by many of the other street people that knew him. The tears and solidarity that day demonstrated that we are all sisters and brothers and it is not our place to judge.
How many had difficult life trials and how many of us made thorny decisions; passing through the world and leaving it without feeling loved as God’s children. We are all responsible to love our brothers. Let us live the gospel as Jesus taught us with the love of God demonstrated through our actions toward our brothers and sisters.
That day, as we remembered Ramon with a simple wooden cross to mark his presence on earth, you were in solidarity with us through your donations. They allowed some comfort to this suffering soul and a final memorial. Mil gracias and have a blessed Easter.
Peace and all good,
Fr. Martin, OFM