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Open your hearts

Thứ ba - 26/09/2017 18:48
Jesus brings us hope.

OPEN YOUR HEARTS
 
I would like to share a personal story that my sisters shared with me. I feel it fits well with today's readings.
 
This was before my time, probably about 68 years ago. My parents owned a small grocery store and their house was directly above the store. My dad worked and managed the store and my mom helped when she was not busy with the kids. There were four at that time, three girls and one boy. Well, one evening while everyone was asleep, an electrical wire shorted and started a fire in the store. When the smoke started to rise up into the house, my dad woke up. In those days there were no smoke detectors. First, my dad woke up my mom and then the girls. Everyone was in a panic and went out through the window, but they forgot my brother, who was an infant. My dad went up the stairs and got him out quickly and safely. That night everything my family owned had burnt to ashes, all personal items, the house, and the business that kept food on the table and a roof over their heads. My family had to start all over. Some of their friends offered a place to stay until my dad could work things out. My dad and mom were faithful Catholics and went to church every Sunday. Even though my parents lost everything, my dad still insisted that they put what they could in the collection basket at their church. One week after the fire my dad was offered a job at Sears and Roebuck Co. as a sewing machine repairman. The pay for his first week returned ten-fold what he had given to God's generosity. My dad had been generous all his life, not just giving to the church but to many other people that were in need as well. He opened his doors when neighbors were in need of shelter, I remember, as a little boy, many times he would buy a bag of groceries and take it to my brothers and sisters just to make sure they were eating right, and also as an excuse to check if everything was going well. Many of his friends came to talk to him about their problems and he always took the time to listen. My dad would rather give to others even if he had to do without himself. He died in the late 1980's from a stroke. I remember at my dad's funeral the priest's homily described my dad as a man of great generosity that he shared everything with his family and friends.
 
Jesus just told us about some other unemployed people. A landowner gave them a job at different hours of the day: some worked a full day; others, just a few hours; still others, only one hour. Yet at the end of the day he paid all of them the same wage. Naturally the early workers complained, but the boss answered: "Do you begrudge my generosity?"
 
Points To Pray And Ponder:
Jesus brings us hope. God's ways are high above our ways, his thoughts above our thoughts. But in Jesus, our human nature is redeemed and lifted-up. May all of us experience the fruits of generosity. Our challenge today is to reflect on the message of the Gospel and to have generosity in our hearts for each other!
 
 
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