Isaiah 22:19-23; Psalms 138:1-3,6-8; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20
Father Murphy, a parish priest, was being honored at a dinner celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination. The scheduled principal speaker was a leading local politician and lawyer. He also was a member of Father Murphy’s congregation. It so happened that the speaker was delayed in court. Consequently, the toastmaster decided to open the program with a few words from Father Murphy himself. “Tell us about your coming to this parish twenty-five years ago,” said the toastmaster. “What were your first impressions?” Father Murphy rose and said,
“Because anything anyone ever told me in the confession box must remain secret, I can only hint gently at my first impressions. Actually, when I first came here, my impression was that it was a terrible place. The very first man who entered my confessional recited just about every sin one could imagine, short of murder. I was appalled. If that was only the first one, I thought, what were the others like? But as the…
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