Love Is The Answer!
Some years ago, a kind of poll was conducted in which parents were asked, “If you had it to do all over again, would you have children?” Incredibly, seventy per cent of those who responded answered, “No. If we had it to do all over again we would not have children.” (One has to wonder what motivated that particular group of individuals to answer in a way so far outside of the norm). The editors of a popular religious magazine were deeply disturbed by these numbers. Perhaps the poll was flawed in some way, they reasoned. And so they decided to ask their own readers to respond to the same question. Whereupon, they were deluged with letters from parents who said, “Yes! We would do it all over again.” One letter, from a mother, read as follows:
Our nine-year-old daughter, Christine, is stubborn, incredibly bossy, and an unrelenting know-it-all. She requires ten minutes of super-salesmanship before she’ll brush her teeth or wash her face. She’s on the verge of having her bedroom condemned by the Board of Health. But even if I had a magic crystal ball ten years ago to let me see all this mess, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would have done it all over again. Why? Love is the answer!
I have no doubt every parent here today would echo that feeling: LOVE IS THE ANSWER!
In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus speaks to His disciples of Perfect Love -- the Perfect Model for our human relationships, the Perfect Family, the Divine Family: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "Everything the Father has is Mine," Jesus says (Jn. 16:15). And "When the Spirit of Truth comes He will lead you to the complete Truth" (Jn. 16:13). As a Christian community, we have the perfect model for living our lives in the Spirit of Truth, which is the Spirit of Love.
A teacher asked her third-graders to write about their personal heroes. One little girl brought her essay home and showed it to her parents. Her father was flattered to discover that his daughter had chosen [...]
Preview more sunday Sermons...
Love Is The Answer!
The Reds And The Golds
The Mysterious Thread
Yes Or No?
Our Divine Namesake
That's What I'm Talking About!
Priority Number One!
Tiny Ripples of Hope
Stories you can use...
We've got a million of them (well, almost).
You can tell with certainty that men, not women, wrote most of the early mythology concerning the creation of the world and the beginning of mankind. You can tell it because of the recurring theme of women getting us into all kinds of trouble. For example, in Greek mythology there is Pandora, the first woman. There are many versions of the Pandora story, but according to one of the most common ones, Prometheus stole fire from heaven and brought it down to us mortal men. Whereupon, the chief god, Zeus, was so angry that he created women as a punishment. The other gods decided to cooperate and they provided certain gifts for this first woman, Pandora. Aphrodite gave her beauty, Hermes gave her cunning, and other gods contributed, until finally it came the turn of Zeus himself. He gave her a box — Pandora’s Box — in which he had placed all of the blessings he intended mankind to have. He instructed Pandora to deliver them to man. But there was one condition: under no circumstances was Pandora to open the lid and look inside the box. Her curiosity got the better of her, she took the lid off, and all of mankind’s blessings escaped. When Pandora saw this happen, she put the lid on as quickly as possible and was able to save just one blessing. Of all the blessings Zeus had intended for mankind only the blessing of hope remained. Sometimes it seems as if we live in an even stranger world, because Pandora’s box appears to be empty. Our present age is being characterized by many people as one of hopelessness. Listen to the music. Look at the art. Read the literature. There is a mood of doom-and-gloom that pervades it all — individuals breaking down under the pressures of life, and many of us unable to find solutions to the massive problems that keep pressing in on us as a people, as a society and as a world. This same quality of doom-and-gloom pervades even our daily conversation. We tell one another there is just no way out. The world is a mess. Without doubt, there are many, many people in our world today who feel that Pandora’s box is empty, many people for whom even hope is gone. Against the background of this fact about our contemporary culture, we Christians pray the petition of hope which forms part of the Lord’s Prayer: THY KINGDOM COME! Every time we offer this petition we affirm an underlying hope that is grounded in the very core of Being Itself, in the very Essence of God and His intentions for us.
A neighborhood clothing store advertised a “Going Out of Business” sale. It seems the store really was going out of business and the advertised bargains were fantastic. On the morning of the sale, over two hundred people were lined up waiting to get into the store an hour before opening time. They watched in disbelief as a man walked past the entire crowd and began to squeeze himself in at the head of the line. Promptly, that man was gently but firmly passed back to the end of the line. Undaunted, he tried again, but this time he was pushed and shoved and bounced back to the rear. When he tried a third time the people really became angry, punching and kicking him back to the rear. And as he stood again in the last place, bloodied but unbowed, the man said, “I’m going to try once more, but if they do that to me again I’m not going to open the store.”
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through his backyard wearing his baseball cap and toting his ball and bat. “I’m the greatest home run hitter that ever was!” he shouted. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung wildly and missed. “Strike one!” he announced. Nonplussed, he picked up the ball, and again boasted, “I am the greatest home run hitter in the world.” He took another swing and missed again. “Strike two!” he cried out. He paused for a moment and examined his baseball bat carefully. Then a third time he threw the ball into the air. “I’m the greatest home run hitter that ever lived,” he said. He swung through the air and missed for a third time. Then he cried out, “Strike three! What a pitcher!. I am the greatest pitcher that ever lived!”
There is a haunting story about a wealthy merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to the market place one morning. There the servant saw the figure of death moving among the people. Death seemed to look at him very menacingly and the servant became panic stricken. He rushed home and begged his master to give him a horse so that he might leave Baghdad to escape death. He wanted to flee to a city called Samara. The merchant had pity on his servant and gave him his fastest white Arabian horse. And the servant immediately galloped off for Samara. Later that day, the merchant himself went to the marketplace where he too saw the vision of death. He approached the figure and asked him why he had stared so threateningly at his servant that morning. Death said to the merchant, “That was not a threatening look. It was a look of surprise. I was surprised to see that man in the City of Baghdad. You see, I have an appointment with him tonight, in the City of Samara.” The story is troubling in one respect. We know that there are some things we can do to delay the appointment with death. We can fasten our seat belts. We can get proper exercise and eat the right foods. We can stop smoking, and so on. And even though there is a dangerous fatalism that comes through in the story when we confront it head-on, the basic truth it embodies is a truth! We all, ultimately, will have to keep an appointment with death. We die! But...the same God who gave us life in the beginning, gives us new life in the beauty of our spiritual body.More