January , 2019

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Pfleger to guests: “You can flip the script of your life”

By Chinta Strausberg

It is one of the favorite times of the year for members of Saint Sabina—Christmas Day—when they cook homemade meals for 500 families including a number of homeless people and even delivering free meals to the elderly and homebound.

But, it was also a day when Father Michael L. Pfleger, who also played the piano as volunteers sang carols,got yet another chance to lead by example by showing the importance of not just getting presents for Christmas but illustrating the spirit of giving.

And that is what Pfleger and The Faith Community of Saint Sabina did on Christmas Day. For more than two-hours, Black, white and Hispanic people streamed into Saint Sabina Academy, located at 7801 South Throop Street, where they were greeted by dozens of greeters including Senator Jacqueline Collins(D-16th), welcoming them as if they were family.

That was what Father Pfleger had asked of his volunteers—to give his guests the respect they deserve and to wait on and serve them with dignity and grace. Two rows of greeters welcomed the guests as they entered the dining area.

Of course before eating, heprayed over the full course meal that included a huge display of deserts, Father Pfleger gave his guests a spiritual, uplifting and challenging pep talk.

“You are our guests. You are our family,” said Pfleger. “All of our meals have been home cooked by the members of the church,” he told them explaining he wanted them to have a home cooked meal. “We want you to know how special you are in our lives.”

Saying many of his guests were from different shelters, Pfleger said, “I know some of you feel like you are in a trouble time right now…, but guess what? We’re in a trouble world right now locally, nationally, globally and we also have trouble in our lives.

“I want you to understand that there is no difference between you being at the table and those serving the food because we all we all are going through stuff,” Father Pfleger said.

“You know what the good news is? This is the birthday of Jesus and we come to flip the script,” he said referring to Jesus who was born in a manger…homeless his parents being turned away by innkeepers.

“How many of you believe you can flip the script of your life right now,”? He asked them. “How many believe you can turn it around that this is only a temporary situation”? He asked to say, “This is only temporary for me. Don’t get used to this yet. I’m just passing through. I am ready to go to the next place. If you believe that 2015 is a new year, stand on your feet and give God” a scream. He asked them to shake the hands of the person next to them and repeat, “You’re getting ready to go to a new place.”

For those who say, you don’t know what I’ve been through, Pfleger said, “There is nothing impossible for God. I don’t care what has happened in your life. There is nothing God can’t do to turn it around. If God had the nerve to wake you up one more day, God’s got more for you…,” Pfleger said as he began to pray over the meal.

“God comes into this room today to let every person here know God says ‘I love you…’ God says because I love you, I have more for you…. God says I have not changed my plans about you;so don’t you change your plans about you. Don’t lower your dreams. Don’t lower your possibilities because God says I am a big God and I come to do big things in your life,” he said giving blessings to all those who made the dinner possible and of course all 500 plus guests.

Besides the free sit-down meal, the guests also received toys and other gifts.

During this Christmas season,Father Pfleger proudly reported that on December 16, 2014, Saint Sabina distributed more than 2,300 free hot meals at BJ’s Market & Bakery, 79thand Loomis. On December 20, 2014, Saint Sabina gave away 1,000 free turkeys and last week distributed hundreds of toys to more than 500 families.
Father Michael L. Pfleger had given the volunteers their marching orders--to treat the guests with the utmost of respect and dignity as if they were their family, and that is what they all did on Christmas Day where they served more than 500 homeless and other families a free, hot sit-down meal that was a "Christmas feast fit for a king."(All pictures by Chinta Strausberg)Father Michael L. Pfleger had given the volunteers their marching orders–to treat the guests with the utmost of respect and dignity as if they were their family, and that is what they all did on Christmas Day where they served more than 500 homeless and other families a free, hot sit-down meal that was a “Christmas feast fit for a king.” (Photo by Chinta Strausberg)

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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