By Brian Flagg,

We’ve got this soulful, humble and very spiritual young Chicano priest from San Jose, Califas at Santa Cruz Parish (really! at Santa Cruz Parish!)

His name is Padre Juan Elias and the vato really inspires me.

Over my almost two decades of attending masses there, on occasion I’ve been challenged or gained some insights from homilies by some extremely lame priests. The good thing about being Catholic is that it’s not about how good the priest is or isn’t, it’s about being there for that hour linked to all the other sisters and brothers who make up the mystical body of Christ, and more deeply encountering Jesus through that experience.

But it sure helps if you can relate to the priest.

This guy is so cool he quotes Tupac, Jim Harbaugh and Fr. Greg Boyle SJ.

At last Saturday evening’s mass, after reading John 3(14-21) he repeated slowly, numerous times, “God is relentlessly merciful in His love, why aren’t we?” And then he briefly discussed it, with a special emphasis on God’s merciful love for the homeless and the undocumented.

Oftentimes at the end of sermons, he gives us homework!

On Saturday it was to re-read that gospel through the week and let those words of love sink in to you! and let it grow!

And to be attentive, to examine and be conscious of times this week when you said or you were gonna say NO to someone regarding that gospel truth:

GOD IS RELENTLESSLY MERCIFUL in His Love, why aren’t we?

I’ve been feeling convicted, but it’s a good thing, it truly feels right and just. If I could only more completely know and embrace this as a lifestyle… it could generate the spiritual power to transform and liberate me, Casa Maria and all of humanity?

And the struggle continues…


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