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Christ Comes to Boyle Heights

Take a risk for love? What do you mean? And end up looking like THAT guy? Bloody and torn, holes pounded in his flesh.

One of the most heart-rending stories I have heard was from Father Doyle, founder of Home-Boy Industries here in LA. One of the risks taken by the workers at Home-Boy is crossing lines to work with people from other gangs. They made a lot of friendships, and began to stand up for each other. Eventually the gangs began to enforce discipline on their own. In this story, a Hispanic man went down a dark alley one night and was beat up. The beating got out of control and ended in murder.

When Father Doyle went to the morgue, he was devastated to find that the man’s skull was completely broken. The head was swelled up to twice its normal volume. Father Doyle was at a loss to understand what could have moved anyone to continue beating someone like that, well after the point of death.

When I heard this story, I had a vision that the assailants had seen a halo around the victim’s head, and terrified of their own fate, had done their best to destroy it.

Talk about your “come to Jesus” moments. They’ll think about that for the rest of their lives, every time the deceased reaches his hand to them from heaven.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

NIV Matt. 16:25

For in their sacrifice, just as Ezekiel, they are a physical realization of the sorrow that Christ endures in loving those that chose not to love themselves.

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
And then he came, and the soul felt its worth.

-Oh Holy Night

Do you not remember?

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