One day a little girl asked her mommy if all fairy tales begin with, “Once upon a time?” “No,” her mother replied. “Today, most fairy tales begin with, ‘If I am elected…’”
Jesus made promises to people at times, but never like that. Jesus never ran for any office.
As we continue on weekends going through Luke’s Gospel, we encounter a series of readings that turn our expectations and desires upside down.
Last week Jesus told one of this followers to not say goodbye to his family. He told another follower to not even make time to bury his father. Jesus said: “Let the dead bury their dead.” Luke 9:60
Next week Jesus will tell us the story of the Good Samaritan. He tells us we must love and care for those that we don’t know, even beaten up strangers on the road.
This week Jesus tells his followers as they head out into the world, to take nothing with them – No money bag, so sack of clothes, no sandals, no credit cards, not even smart phones. Jesus says, “I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:3
Week after week, Jesus is telling his followers, not to save up, but to surrender. “Let Go and Let God!”
Today when Jesus sends his followers into the world, he gives them a simple message to announce to every home. “Peace! Peace!”
It is the first word Jesus says on Easter morning when he is raised from the dead. “Peace!” Peace is the great message Jesus is asking you and me to carry home and into the world today.
Don’t worry about carrying money or sandals, credit cards and smart phones. Instead, carry Peace home and into the world. Not too many people are listening to Jesus. Look at Ukraine. We don’t have to look much further than our own United States with abortion and the January 6th hearings.
There are also limitless, small conflicts that erupt in our daily lives, between husbands and wives, ex-husbands and wives, between parents and children, between neighbors, the people we work with and between strangers on the street.
These intense skirmishes break out around the kitchen table and behind the bedroom door. These battles leave invisible, yet lasting scars, because of the cruel words that are spoken, the hard look and the cold silence.
How often do we say that we are sorry and say peace to the people in our lives? How often do we try to be Jesus to others? How often do we see Jesus in the faces of those we do not understand or with whom we disagree?
A man that I know was living in a marriage that was most difficult. He went to see a spiritual director who told him, “You must learn to listen to your wife.” The man took this advice to heart and returned several weeks later. He said that he had been working hard to listen to every word his wife was saying.
The spiritual director smiled and said, “Good, now go home and listen to every word your wife is NOT saying.” If you and I did that with our spouses and other people – it would be a big first step in making peace a reality. Why? Because when you listen that way, you’ll eventually discover WHO the other person REALLY is.
What do we all want? We all want the LAST WORD! Why do you think I talk so long in my homilies on Sunday? Laz wants the LAST WORD and a lot of LAST WORDS. When you listen to what the other person is NOT saying, you don’t have to have the LAST WORD. You become humble, like Jesus and a lot of the saints.
You see, Jesus isn’t just asking us to detach ourselves from things – money, sandals, credit cards, and smart phones. He’s asking us to detach ourselves from our pride, our egos, and from our idea that everything we have is owed to us by some family member or some politician.
When we strip ourselves of our pride, our egos and our “what’s mine is mine” attitude, then we can bring true peace home with us and into our world.
There was a successful job recruiter who interviewed executives for top jobs around the country. He got his clients to relax in the interview by having them take off their suit coat and talk about sports, their families and their hobbies.
Once the recruiter got the client very relaxed, he asked them: “So what’s your purpose in life?” Just about every person he interviewed was speechless when he asked this question. But one day, a man piped up without missing a beat and said, “The purpose of my life is to get to heaven and to take as many people as I can with me.” The job recruiter was speechless!
So, what’s YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE? Go ahead! LEAVE ME SPEECHLESS!!
WHEN GOD WANTS YOU TO GROW, GOD MAKES YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE!!