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Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

I want to share with you something different this week.  It is a parable of sorts.  There once was a young boy who had recently gotten into a verbal fight with his brother and he was very angry.  As one day grew into the next he became even angrier as he replayed their fight over and over in his mind.  The next day the family went to see their Grandparents.  The boy, who was still mad at his brother, began to tell his Grandfather about the situation and how angry he still was.  After listening to the story, the Grandfather reached into a drawer and pulled out a Hershey Chocolate bar and next to it he placed an old brick.  The Grandfather looked at the boy and said “I will give you the chocolate bar if you can hold up this brick with one hand straight out for 3 minutes.”  “That’s easy” said the boy looking at the brick.  “Let’s do it.” After the first minute, the boys arm began to feel tired.  After the second minute, the boy began to sweat and wobble a little.  As the third minute came to pass the boy was trembling all over and finally “times up” and the boy put the brick down rubbing his sore arm.  “That was not so easy was it?” Said the Grandfather as the boy began to rub his hand and arm.  “Why did you have me do that?” asked the boy.  “That brick,” replied the Grandfather “represents your anger.  Did you see how heavy it became over time?”  “Yes, it was really heavy at the end.  It felt good to put it down.”  The Grandfather looked into the boy’s eyes, “it is the same with the anger you have been carrying around for days.  You will feel better if you just put it down.  It is a heavy weight and you don’t have to carry it anymore.  Leave it there in the brick. Now don’t you feel better?”  As he ate the chocolate, the boy asked his grandfather “where did you get the brick?”  The Grandfather paused and said “when I first came to this country I was sitting having dinner and a man who I did not know threw this brick through our living room window.  I was mad for days, weeks, even months and each time I looked at that brick, I would get angry all over again.  Then one day while I was holding the brick, I decided to simply put it down along with my anger and I chose to forgive the man who threw it.  Once I did that, I felt much better.”

I tell you this parable because today’s readings are about anger and forgiveness.  If you have been carrying the weight of anger around with you, it is time to put it down and forgive.  Remember the way you forgive others is how God will forgive you, and He has forgiven you much. Plus chocolate tastes a whole lot better than anger. Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!

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