Monday, July 23, 2007
This was forwarded to me. It gave me some thought.
5 CENTS TOO MUCH
A priest moved to a new parish and some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the city.
When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him 5 cents too much change.
As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, "You'd better give the 5 cents back. It would be wrong to keep it." Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, it's only 5 cents. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a 'gift from God' and keep quiet."
When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door then he handed the 5 cents to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."
The driver with a smile replied, "Aren't you the new priest in my parish? I have been thinking lately about going to mass. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I'll see you at church on Sunday"
When the priest stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest lamp post, held on, and said, "Oh God, I almost sold your Son for 5 cents."
Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.
This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Catholics and will put us to the test! Always remember (as I try to remember) that you carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself "Catholic."
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
and then lose their money to restore their health.
Some live as if they will never die,
and die as though they had never lived."
In our lives, in the way we live, there are a lot ironies.
Many of us "like headless chicken", scamper around, aimlessly.
Some work, and work, and work, and yet remain unfulfilled.
Some seek leisure, more leisure, endless leisure, and yet remain deeply, unhappy.
Some enter into one relationship, to another, and another, and yet remain incomplete.
Some accumulate wealth, more wealth, and more wealth, and yet remain uncontented.
Many of us go through life but not find meaning.
Something in us seeks something more than what the world can offer.
This is because we are in this world, but we are not of this world. Genesis tells us, that we are made in the image and likeness of God. St. Augustine shares his insight: God has made us for himself. Our hearts are restless, until they rest in God.
This of course, we know. But often, we forget. And we remember only when we find time to reflect, to look into ourselves, to listen to God.
Prayer and our day to day activities are like two oars of the boat of our lives. If we keep rowing with only one, we will reach nowhere. We keep rowing and rowing, and we seem to move. Move yes, but only in circles. The boat of our lives would move only if we row with both oars - the oar of prayer and action - the oar of listening to God, and the oar of acting, working for a better life.
15th Sunday in OT, Year C
(an adaptation of Bp Mylo’s reflection on the same Gospel)
1. A priest entered a convent and saw an 84-year old nun cleaning the floor of the lobby with a mop. The priest told her, “Sister, you work too much. You’re too old for that job. Give that work to the younger nuns. Don’t make life very difficult for you.” The nun seriously replied, “Heaven is not cheap, you know.”
2. In today's Gospel, we hear a very telling exchange between Jesus and the man: “Lord, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” – Love God, love your neighbor. – “Who is my neighbor?” – Parable of the Good Samaritan
3. The example of Mother Teresa of Calcutta inspires us. When Mo. Teresa started her work with the dying destitute she was in desperate need of a place in which to care for them. Local authorities in Calcutta offered her section of the temple of their goddess Kali, which, though originally intended for the temporary housing of pilgrims, had become a hangout for thieves, drug addicts, and pimps. When the news circulated that the temple was being run by a woman and a foreigner, and that she was trying to convert the poor to Christianity, groups of people protested at the city hall. Others went to the nearest police station to demand that the woman be evicted. The police commissioner promised to do just that, but wanted first to personally check things out. When the police commissioner went to see Mother Teresa, she was caring for a poor sick man, putting potassium permanganate on the wounds from which worms were crawling out. The stench was unbearable. Mother Teresa treated the police commissioner with respect and offered to show him about. He answered that he preferred to look around on his own. When he came out, he met some of the people who had complained about Mother Teresa and said, “I give you my word that I would throw this woman out here, and I would like to keep it. But before I do so, you will have to get your mothers and sisters to do what she does. I make that as the only condition for exercising my authority.”
4. Mother Teresa was among those very much fulfilled in life. She and her sisters lived in poverty, and with the poor, helping the sick and the dying, caring for the least in society. But they are most happy and fulfilled. And surely, she was not only fulfilled and happy here, she is most fulfilled and happy now in heaven.
5. Life, both here in the world and in the world to come, is a gift from God. But to live authentically a fulfilling life here on earth, and to accept the gift of eternal life, we have to accept and live the command of Jesus to love.
6. Loving is not only a feeling, but a lived emotion – a choice to really love. Often, the demands are difficult.
a. To be ready to take on unexpected tasks, to accept being disturbed
b. To become involved, and to accept the risk, and be ready to take on one’s share of trouble
7. Heaven is not cheap you know.