On Thursday night, I spontaneously went to the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa Kakaako Homeless Shelter Feeding night with Life Teen coordinator Fay Castillo. The night reminded me the time I experienced the Day of Poverty Retreat in Portland, Oregon.
I thought that I would be the one to minister to the homeless but instead this day ministered me. When we arrived at the downtown chapel, we greeted by Fr. Ron Paul who gave us a short overview of the day. Then all the volunteers and my brothers gathered for a small Lectio Divina before the "guest" arrived. I liked the fact that we referred the homeless our "guest" because it I helped me realized that they important as much as anyone else.
I have done many homeless feeding before and was used to the it. This time was very different. Was it because of the location? Portland where as to Honolulu? I was moved by each "guest" as they went through the breakfast line. In a world where the homeless is disenfranchised and have little choice, in this place they were welcomed and important. It was moving to see them have a choice as to what kind yogurt to have or white milk or chocolate milk.
One of the volunteers had me sit with a few guest and at first I felt uncomfortable. As I engaged in the conversation with them, I experienced a defining moment. I witnessed to Jesus. The 25th Chapter of Matthews Gospel came into my mind. "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me" (Matt. 25:35-36). When I told one of the guest that I was a seminarian studying for the priesthood, she responding with "You guys will heal us when we are down and sad." That was so simple yet profound. It came from the heart. I don't what was her educational background but let me tell you she was a great theologian.
That day taught me a lot and the homeless seems different now than before.
Are you willing to witness to Jesus?