Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cool homily

This past Sunday 16 September, at the 7.45 am Mass at Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) Church in downtown Durham, Fr. Jacek Orzechowski delivered a brilliant homily on the theme of forgiveness. We actually heard the long form of the Gospel (Lk 15:1-32), so we heard about the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost (Prodigal) Son.

The bit I liked the most? The story of the beggar and the stone. I can't recall who was the original author of this story; Fr. Jacek mentioned it. Russian author, I think. Anyway - a poor man was begging a rich man for some bread. The rich man threw a stone at the beggar and went away. The beggar took the stone, placed it in his bag, and vowed to keep the stone until the day he met the rich man again so he could throw it in the man's face.

Approximately 20 years pass. The rich man has fallen into trouble, and for his crimes, he was thrown in prison. The beggar noticed a man, shackled in chains, and recognised the prisoner as the rich man who had thrown a stone at him when he was begging for bread so many years before. He ran up to the man, reached into his bag to get the stone, and was ready to throw it in the prisoner's face, when he realised it was foolish to do this, and that it was foolish of him to have harboured these feelings of revenge all these years. So he dropped the stone, and went on his way.

I think it's a nice story, telling us that there is no point to hold on to the baggage, and that one should be willing to forgive others.

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