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Showing posts with label Hospitality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hospitality. Show all posts

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hospitality - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


The laws of hospitality are the oldest laws of all, they are unwritten and universally understood.

If you have a guest in your home, you are responsible for their well-being. It does not get any more simple than that.

The United States has fallen far away from this standard.

Immigrant families are being separated from each other at the border. While they may have broken the laws of the United States for unlawfully entering the country, they are within their rights as human beings to seek a better life for themselves in their flight from poverty, persecution and injustice.

We are holding children in prisons. Some have been separated from their families, infants and toddlers, and we have no idea who their parents are or where they went. We have no means to return them.

Two children have dies in our custody in the last month, the latest on Christmas Eve. The administration of Donald Trump will not even acknowledge their responsibility for it. They blame the parents instead.

Make no mistake, anyone in our custody, whether they are friend or foe, a prison or a free person is entitled to a basic level of care. We have a responsibility for their welfare. We have a duty even to the stranger. The laws of hospitality are clear on this, these men and women and their children are our guests.

We are failing in our duties, failing them, and failing ourselves.

These faults are tragedies committed in our name.

It may seem silly to dwell on them, their stories came and went in a few short turns of the news cycle, and the deaths of these small children, these crimes which no-one will be held accountable for, are just two small drops in a great ocean of villainy America has perpetrated on the world and on its people.

But it is not silly, it is a necessary reflection on how far we have sunk that we cannot even expect our elected and appointed leaders to see these events against the backdrop of the laws of hospitality the knowledge of which we all carry deep in our hearts, the ancient international laws that assign to us responsibility for their care.

They twist and turn, point fingers and blame others because the think that if they hold themselves accountable they will be evincing a weakness that will cause their entire house of cards to fall apart.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Day

It is Labor Day, a great national holiday, a day to celebrate the American worker, to celebrate the ordinary citizen.

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work, it is meant to be a day of rest, repose and respite.

I am not working, and that is unusual, though it is the second year in a row.

Prior to this time in my life perhaps three or four Labor Days had passed in the last twenty years, on which I have enjoyed the day off. I cannot recall when, or what I did.

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. There are many restaurants that close, and give their staff the day off, but there are many others who see this as an opportunity to “make hay,” as they say, never mind the lives of the staff whose labor the business depends upon.

Forget about them, do not honor them, squeeze a little more profit out of a day.

The last restaurant I worked in, they were open on Labor Day, they are open today. It will see ten maybe twelve thousand dollars in revenue, double the haul for an ordinary Monday. It will busy, all hands on deck, there will be forty staff members toiling away; cooking serving, cleaning.

Like most restaurants, that establishment sees ten percent profit or less on average, and the owners will not flinch at the prospect of ruining the holiday for forty people, to put about a thousand dollars in profits in the bank.

They will pretend that the staff should be happy to work, on such a busy day, happy…to earn a little extra money…never mind having the opportunity to relax and reflect with family and friends

It is Labor Day in America, and many people are working. Though, it is virtually guaranteed that the bankers, the office managers, and the whole white collar world have taken this day for themselves, paying themselves for their holiday as well.

Well paid, well rested managers, and owners…I guess the world needs more of those, and while they are relaxing someone needs to be on task to pour their coffee, to serve their brunch and fuel their frolicking.

Happy Labor Day, you laborers!


Given 1st - 2016.09.05

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 7:36-8.3 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.06.12


One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’
Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Now after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.


Follow the Leader

In the week leading up to this day, the week of June 5th, 2016; Pope Francis “the Good” elevated the celebration of the sainthood of Mary Magdalene to the status of a Liturgical Feast.

On July 22nd, and forevermore the whole Church will celebrate her feast as the whole Church always should have, giving her credit for her apostolic work; Mary Magdalene, the apostle to the apostles.

Today’s reading reminds us of the peril of class consciousness, of how it obfuscates, and blinds us. It points out the error of Simon, who in the periscope, we think of as Simon the Pharisee, a colleague of Jesus as they were both Pharisees. This is the same Simon who became Jesus’ disciple, chief of the disciples, who Jesus later named Peter, the founder of the Church.

Simon believed it was beneath the dignity of Jesus to associate with Mary, he believed it was beneath the dignity of his house to even have her beneath his roof.

What Simon did not know, was that when he invited Jesus to cross his threshold, he invited the whole Church to come through the door with him; female and male, sinner and saint, clean and unclean, the whole Church.

Simon’s gruff nature, and the deep confusion that dogged him, about Jesus; this was on full display. The periscope contrasts that confusion with the clarity, purpose and resolve of Mary Magdalene; who was never in doubt.

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, Simon would reject Jesus, and abandon him, while Mary prayed at the foot of the cross. And when Jesus had risen, he appeared first to Mary, who subsequently went to find Simon, and just as in this passage, showed him the way to the risen Christ, the true Church.

It was the women who followed Jesus, that built the church. It is long past time we honored them as at least equal to the men who followed him, who betrayed and abandoned him when the going got tough.

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Saturday, December 19, 2015

St. Stephen's

Found Poetry

**you do NOT need to be sober**
to access our services

To connect with an Outreach Worker
Or free from any phone,

St. Stephen’s Street Outreach is part of
St. Stephen’s Human Services, which offers
Shelter, housing, employment, advocacy,
And ex-offender programs to those
Who are homeless or living in poverty.

Main Office:
2211 Clinton Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

ending homelessness

St. Stephen’s Human Services

The Poem that Follows:

The note promised help, outreach
Even the drunkard is worthy

Connect, reach-out
The street is no-place to live

St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr
After Jesus, who loved the poor

Feed the hungry, house the homeless
The human being next to you, is your sister,
     Is your brother,
           I am in them,
                as are you

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Homily - The Gospel of Mark 12: 38 - 44

In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’

  He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’ (NJB)

I read a headline today, the Good Pope Francis is saddened by the number of priests, and prelates who use their office to enrich themselves; loving money, seemingly more than they love the people who they have been appointed to serve.

I think of the priesthood today, the priests strolling around in their long dresses. Doing today exactly what Mark complained about, in regards to the scribes.

Today’s priests are yesterday’s scribes.

I think of the monies that all churches spend on their liturgies, their choirs, their incense, their candles; ostensibly to honor the creator, but really I think it is vanity, and they seek only to honor themselves, to take pride in their pageantry, and pat themselves on the back.

The liturgies themselves do little to honor God, or creation, with the creeds and the common prayers serving more to divide one group from another than to bring them together. In my church, the Catholic church, even the eucharist (imagined as God’s own self) is used as a bludgeon, to beat back the people if they are not toeing the line. Those traditions dishonor the gospel, by seeking to keep God confined.

The real presence of God is already alive in all people. The church, if it is to be relevant to more than a few, needs to empty itself, empty its treasury, and meet God where God is living in the hearts of God’s ministers, in the hearts of their neighbors, in the poor, and the sick, in the criminal as well as the “good” citizen.

The church must emulate the widow in this Gospel, and give all it has.