By Fr. Christopher Kubat
Recently, on the eve of the memorial of the passion of St. John the Baptist, after the office closed, I decided that my bag of bones needed a bit of exercise.
My usual jogging route is from our near downtown office to the Devaney Center and back. While returning, I noticed a man I estimate in his 30s, with a backpack, leaning against one of the pillars supporting one of the many bridges over Antelope Creek and the bike trail.
After saying hello, he seemed concerned that I was there to ask him to ‘move along.’ After introducing myself as a priest he was relieved, but in no real mood to converse. I noticed he had a significant orthopedic issue with his right leg and foot. He was eating a small bag of sunflower seeds for dinner. He had nothing to drink. Hungry myself, I had started thinking of the dinner Father Brian Connor was preparing at North American Martyrs for a group of priests, yours truly included. Salmon, salad, a fresh homemade houska bread and kolaches.
“What time is it?” he asked me. Not having a watch, but knowing what time it was when I jumped on the trail I answered, “About 6:30.”
“Morning or evening?” he replied in a slow and methodical manner. I was struck that this man not only did not know what time of day it was, but if it was morning or evening.
Feeling so bad for this child of God the Father, I said a prayer and imparted a priestly blessing. Knowing that our sack lunch program was closed for the day, I started walking away concerned that I might be late for supper at North American Martyrs. I bet it was my guardian angel prompted by the Holy Spirit who said to me, ‘How can you feast on rich foods and fine wine (Isaiah 25:6) knowing that this son of God lays here on pavement hungry? This is Jesus lying on the ground!’ (Mt 25:31-46).
Once at the office, I put together some sandwiches, water, a muffin and a scone, and returned to the scene. Needless to say, he was very happy to receive the care package.
It was then I noticed another man, somewhat younger bedding down for the night. “Are you hungry too?” I asked. Of course he said yes. Being in good shape, he followed me back to the office and he received a similar sack. We also prayed and I blessed this man. He too was very grateful.
I am very thankful to our many supporters who make what we do possible, namely assistance with grants for those who are unable to afford the total cost of counseling in our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center, rent, utilities, food, clothing, furniture, appliances, and cars to name a few.
Please pray for the success of our St. Mother Teresa Center which is not quite finished. Included with this article is a picture of the altar in the center which is not done yet, a place where people on the street can pray while they come in to rest awhile…. St. John the Baptist and St. Mother Teresa, pray for us!