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Matthew 18: 10–14

Matthew 18:10–14 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

10 See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

12 What think you? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray?

13 And if it so be that he find it: Amen I say to you, he rejoiceth more for that, than for the ninety-nine that went not astray.

We hear way too much about the wrath of GOD . We hear hardly anything about the “love that passes all understanding.” I believe it is because those who write about the wrath have themselves never experienced the love.

This parable of the shepherd who with 100 sheep goes in search of the lost stray is by and large ignored. The word “lost” is the same word that means “perish.” In other words, in great danger, headed for destruction, because it had left the safely of shepherd’s flock.

Think about it. God is a shepherd so concerned for his flock (which is huge) that if one of us strays and is in danger of destruction he will himself personally search us out, not cease from searching until we are found and make more joy over us than over the ones that did not stray.

That almost makes me want to stray.

The word “pray” is too often used with the meaning of request. It is rarely used with the meaning of think. Jean Cocteau wrote, “The problem with people who pray is they do not think.”

Not thinking is a big problem. It is said that only 2% of the global population learns to think for itself.

For my money few among those 2% are found in the 1% that controls the world’s resources. I won’t use “the world’s wealth” as the best meaning of wealth is “well being” which those who see themselves as wealthy seldom are.

Now I as a lost sheep distracted by whatever caused me to wander may not know the peril I am in.

I know this from personal experience. I had two dogs, George and Spike, I had raised from pups. One of them was always beside me. The other was a contrary. He liked to be independent.

One day I was walking them both without a leash. I looked back. George was not there. I looked around. I saw him on the other side of the road. When he saw that I had seen him he shrugged his body saying, “Damn,” and grudgingly crossed the street towards me.

The problem was that in the distance an approaching car, the driver seeing my dog, sped up. I could calculate the lines. My dog was dead. I started to shout, “STOP!”

Who wouldn’t. But in that instant I realized George thought me angry with him. If I shouted stop the driver of the car would hit him.

“If you pray, you will be condemned.” — Gospel of Thomas.

Prayer means doubt.

Instantly, without praying, without thinking as I knew intuitively what to do, I dropped to one knee.

I said, “Good dog.”

At once his whole attitude changed from grudging and trudging to bouncing and joyful. He sped up just enough that the car speeding by just grazed the tip of his tail.

In his last great speech before he is taken to glory Moses says, “This word I give you is not in the heavens that you should ask who has brought it down to us nor is it across the sea you should ask who has brought it across the sea to us.

He should have added, “Nor is it in a book that you should ask who has taught us to read it?

Moses stated, “The word is very near that you may have it with you always. It is in your heart and on your tongue.”

To understand that think of those who do everything from the book instead of from the heart like jazz musicians who can only play if the music is on a stand before their eyes. This keeps them from becoming one with the music.

We ourselves through faith on the word are to become one with the word.

We are called to become the living word, the word made flesh , one with God.

Not enough praise can be heaped on Jesus. He paid a high price for the message he brought to us. In all that praise of the messenger however the message itself is forgotten, ignored or (willfully) obscured.

What is that message?

It is stated at the beginning of John. “To those who received him, even to those who believe on his name, he gives the power to become the begotten children of God and our birth is not from flesh, blood nor the will nor power of man but from God.”

We are taught by wo/men that Jesus is the only begotten child of God.

Scripture (writing) states clearly Jesus is the FIRST of the begotten children of God.

Now let us look at those who think themselves saved.

Too many of those folks are like the pharisee and the scribe in the parable of the good Samaritan. They see the need for practical, hands on help but they pass by. They shirk their duty.

Remember the context. Jesus is telling this parable to a young lawyer who, like all lawyers, wants a precise definition. He asked, “Who is my neighbor?”

Then along comes a Samaritan.

Again, look at the context. Samaritans were viewed as unclean, as absolute garbage.

Yet it is the trash that stops and helps and then more than helps.

That parable is in Luke. Luke was a gentile. He, himself, knew first hand that he himself was seen by the Jews of his day (and the ultra orthodox Jews of our day) as trash.

Luke has the angels reveal themselves to the shepherds in the hills to announce the birth of Jesus. Those shepherds were viewed as trash because their work kept them from religious observance and who knows what they were up to alone in those hills with no women. After all, we all know that David loved Jonathan as a man loves a woman.

Jesus taught, “What I have done you can do and more.

At the end of Mark we read that one of the signs is that through trusting the word we shall lay our hands on the sick and they shall recover.

I got news for you. We do not even have to lay our hands on people.

In our very presence they become better.

I know folks say, “Well, that was added on later. The earliest texts of Mark do not have that.”

Yes, the earliest texts do not have that. There is much they don’t have and at least one part (The Secret Gospel of Mark) which was cut out because it leads where few dare to go. I have been there. I love going there: . Note those who know of its existence are instructed to lie about it.

That part at the end was added for a reason.

That young lawyer who had asked Jesus to define neighbor was asked by Jesus, “Who then was a neighbor to the bandit’s victim?”

Perhaps not wanting to dirty his tongue with the very word”Samaritan” the young lawyer replies (probably reluctantly), “the one who gave him practical sympathy.

Now it is possible that the pharisee and the scribe as they crossed the road to avoid getting their hands dirty they prayed God would help that beaten man.

What is true is that if they did pray God answered their prays with hands they considered dirty.

My experience is that God always answers prayers in a way the orthodox reject.

Paul wrote there are three great things: faith, hope and love. He wrote that the greatest of these three (greater than faith) is love.

I will tell you a story, a true story about the power of faith, hope and love.

I had a beautiful dog I raised from birth. His name was Reefer (as in marijuana). He was part Collie, part Labrador, part Shepherd. In others words valueless to those who want only purebreds but of immense value to me.

One day walking him I called his name. A woman walking her dog said, “Reefer? That’s a strange name.”

I said, “What do you call your dog?”

She said, “Fellatio.”

One day I came home to find tubes of dog vomit all over the floor. I took Reefer to my vet who gave him tests. The tests revealed that the muscles in his esophagus had gone dead. He could not swallow his food. I learned this is a common thing with Shepherds and Shepherd mixes. My vet said I should put my dog to death for his own sake but if I wanted a second opinion I could take him to him to the vet college.

I did.

By the time I got him back from the vet college he looked like those folk we see who had been freed from concentration camps.

The vet college said, “Put him down. No dog in this country has survived with what he has.”

I said, “What about outside this country?”

The vet college said, “Two in America did.”

I replied, “Then one in Canada will.”

I brought him home. When I walked him people screamed at me for starving him. I learned to take him out late at night when no one was around.

I had to get him eating dry food which he did not like. I had to get him drinking standing up which he would not do.

A friend came by after two weeks. I said, “I’m giving up. He won’t eat. He can’t eat. He won’t drink.”

We argued it through. By the time we were done she thought I should put him down. I decided to give him more time.

I went to the bathroom to wash my hands. Reefer walked in, put his front paws on the sink and, for the first time, drank from the cold water tap.

Realizing he now understood I went to the kitchen, prepared his food intuitively mixing some canned meat with the dry. Then I called him. He put his front paws on the counter top. He ate standing up.

Afterwards I held him between my legs for an hour while gravity brought the food down to his stomach.

At night or when I went out I tied his collar to something that forced him to sit up for the great danger was fluid getting into his lungs.

Gradually he got his weight back. He looked great.

Six months passed.

One day preparing his food I heard a voice in my head that said, “I am okay now you know.”

I said, “Are you?”

I put his food and water on the floor. He ate and drank.

One in Canada did survive.

This was the fruit of faith, hope and love.

Now I am a sinner. I am in the eyes of many who call themselves Christians I am a hardened, unrepentant sinner.

I am a queer and furthermore I am proud of it.

Like Luke I know that in their eyes I am trash.

That is their problem not mine.

I have what it seems they do not.

I have, through trusting that word that said of the three great things, faith, hope, love the greatest is love, the power to heal.

I have watched and am watching that power at work.

Jesus said if you walk with me your father, your mother, your brothers, your sisters, everyone you know will turn against you.

Every queer man and woman (at least the vast majority of them) grows up knowing that if they speak the truth of their being their father, mother, brothers, sisters, everyone they know will turn against them. We know that more than any other people.

So that these people we love will not turn against us many of us, certainly I did) live a lie.

The weight of that lie becomes so heavy we are crushed moment by moment by it.

We know in our genes what Jesus meant when he said, “If you speak the truth the world will turn against you.

When we finally say, “To Hell with the world,” we also know better than anyone else the freedom that comes with the truth.

This is the first day of June which around the planet is Gay Pride month, a thing many who call themselves clean despise.

Well, I am proud of who I AM and I know God (and Jesus) are proud of me.

Don’t come to me to be healed.

Look to the power that comes into your own life when each of us decides it is time to stop being a slave to the belief system we were brought up in.

Jesus is not a myth. He was a dirt poor peasant from buttfuck Galilee who dropped his aitches when he spoke (that was the accent by which Peter was recognized after he denied Jesus three times).

He was a man priests, scribes and scholars turned their backs on (and still do).

He was crucified. He was murdered. He did rise from the grave.

He said, “What they did to me they will do to you.”

That means many of us will be crucified. Many of us will be killed. It means each of us who believes on his name will be raised from the dead in a powerful statement of “FUCK YOU!” to all those too timid to stand up to the forces we were born to stand up to and instead join with them.

In the gay world drag queens are often seen as the lowest of the low, the worst of the worst.

Well, at Stonewall the good homosexuals went into hiding. It was the drag queens that stood up.

God bless the drag queens. Those boys were born with balls.

When we become one with the word we say with Jesus, “Before Abraham was I AM.”

There are many who will call that blasphemy. When Jesus said it he was told, “This is blasphemy. From his own lips we have heard it.”

Nonetheless, it is true.

Before Abraham was WE ARE.

This is what it means to be ONE WITH CHRIST.

This post dedicated to all the world’s drag queens.

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