Storyteller Fr. John Shea – tells of a father who brought his four kids to an ice-cream parlor. Only three of them came inside. The teenage girl remained in the car sulking – because she was at the age of life at which teenage girls like to sulk.
Meanwhile, the two boys in the group fought over which one of them could choose first: because they both wanted garlic-chocolate-fudge-with-cookie-crumbles – and one of course could not order what the other already had – that would just be unthinkable. . .
So the two of them almost came to blows when the older boy ordered the favored ice cream — and the younger one was reduced to settle for orange-ripple-pizza-flavored ice cream. . .
Meanwhile, the little girl of the family who couldn’t have been more than four — wept because all of the chocolate-chocolate-chocolate-chip was gone – and nothing could console her – not even a triple scoop of peppermint-fudge-raspberry-mango. She sobbed all the way through her destruction of the cone!
Finally, the teenager in the car came in and sulked because they did not have “anything” – though actually there was more than 80 flavors –
all except, of course, chocolate-chocolate-chocolate-chip. She finally settled on a single scoop of vanilla yogurt “in a dish” as a protest against the injustices of the human condition – especially teenaged girls who had to go out with her younger siblings AND her father – all the while hoping she would not be seen.
When they got home, however, the father told his wife how much fun he had on the outing, and he was speaking the truth. . .
For you see – they were his children – and he loved them — and he delighted in feeding them. In spite of the sulking, fighting, and crying. . .
[The Book of Love: Andrew Greely & Mary Durkin, pg 183]
Are we hungry people??? Because, you see, we are God’s children – and he loves us – and he delights in feeding us. . . even though we certainly can be a bit like the kids in the story: sulking, fighting, and crying.
Taking our cue from the second reading: Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – God knows that sometimes we do watch carefully how we live – not as foolish persons but as wise ———– but there are also times we do NOT carefully watch how we live — and we are foolish persons rather than wise: BUT GOD STILL LOVES US!
God knows, and we do to – that at times we do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord —
but many times we choose ignorance so we can do what we want to do – rather than the will of the Lord: BUT EVEN THEN: WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN AND GOD STILL LOVES US.
God knows, and we do to – and so do others around us – that sometimes we get drunk on wine (or whatever our alcohol of choice is), and we lie in debauchery and fail to fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit. And sometimes we don’t make those unwise choices — -and do fill ourselves with the Spirit: BUT GOD STILL LOVES US.
Sometimes we do sing and play to the Lord in our hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father — and sometimes our hearts are far from the Lord: BUT EVEN THEN: WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN. AND GOD STILL LOVES US. AND HE DELIGHTS IN FEEDING US!
“I am the bread of life — and my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them.”
Hopefully we have come here hungry – even though we may be sulking, fighting, and crying. . . But still hungry enough to fill ourselves with Christ today in this Eucharist – and come to believe in him — and be convinced that he is the holy one of God
Remarks made after Communion:
The second collection today is the annual diocesan collection for Life and Justice issues. . .
As we found out again this week – an area the Church still needs much improvement on in the life and justice department — is the protection of youth from the sexual abuse of clergy. . .
St. Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians: “watch carefully how you live – not as foolish persons – but as wise.”
Our church in its leadership is still filled with too many foolish people – set on protecting abusers— rather than protecting and helping the abused.
You and I are no doubt deeply hurt and disturbed by such horrific crimes done by clergy – and covered up by Bishops —- and must continue to assure that in our parish – our youth feel safe, protected, and cared for.
I certainly agree with the statements of Bishop Johnson – the time for words is over – it’s time to see action.
May we continue to pray – AND WORK HARD – so that these evil actions of the past – don’t happen again.