Sunday, April 22, 2012

G is for Giving

Today at Mass the priest told a thought provoking story about Giving.

He came from a family of eleven children.  If you have children at all then you know the sacrifice and money it takes to raise a small family.  I can only imagine what it's like to raise eleven children.  Anyway, I would like to tell his story.

Growing up in a household of eleven children there was always a competition of some sort with each other.  Whenever the phone or doorbell rang there was always a race to see who could get to it first.  One day the doorbell rang and he was the first to get to the door.  When he opened the door there stood a grubby looking man wearing a baseball cap, tattered shirt and unwashed jeans with holes in the knees.

Nervously, the young boy asked, "May I help you?"  The grubby looking man answered, "Is the man of the house home?"  The boy replied, "No."  The man asked, "Is the woman of the house home?"  The boy replied, "Yes, just a moment."

He left the man at the door and ran to find his mother.  He found her in the kitchen cleaning up from lunch and said, "Mother, there's a bum at the door!"  Curiously mother went to the door.  She asked the man how could she help him.  He replied, "Do you happen to have anything I can eat?"  Mother looked at him and said, "Wait right here."

She went back to the kitchen and the boy saw his mother open up the refrigerator and take out the last two meatballs that she had saved for him.  Carefully, she unfolded the meatballs from the paper towel and proceeded to cut them in half.  She placed them in between slices of bread and made two meatball sandwiches.  Next, she grabbed his last soda.  It had been in the fridge all day getting nice and cold.  Mother placed the sandwiches in a brown paper bag.  She then reached into the cookie jar and pulled out a handful of the delicious chocolate chip cookies she had baked.  She placed the cookies in the bag along with a juicy, red apple.

Mother returned to the door and gave the man the brown paper bag lunch along with the soda.  She said, "This is for you.  You are welcome to stay and eat here if you want."  The man said, "No, I have a train to catch, but thank you so much for your kindness."  Then he turned and walked away down the road.

When she closed the door the boy asked his mother, "Mother, why did you give that man my two meatballs and my last soda I had been saving?"  She turned and said, "Because that was Jesus."  "Jesus?"  the boy said.  He opened up the door and looked down the road, but the man had disappeared.  "What do you mean that was Jesus?"

His mother looked down at him and replied, "Jesus said when you feed the poor you are feeding me, so we fed Jesus today."

After church was over I drove home and asked my son Caleb what he thought the lesson from Mass had been today.  He said, "I think he was telling us we need to share."  I agree.  Such a wonderful message.


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