Welcome to Andrew Greeley's Web
Author, Priest, Poet
February 3rd, 2002
Catholic Homilies
February 3rd, 2002

nav1.gif (1982 bytes)
Articles
nav2.gif (583 bytes)
Leave Messages
nav3.gif (528 bytes)
About the Author
nav4.gif (545 bytes)
Homilies
nav5.gif (654 bytes)
Preview Novels
nav6.gif (644 bytes)
Mailbox Newsletters
nav7.gif (669 bytes)
Home
nav8.gif (801 bytes)

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mt 5/1-12

Background:

The beatitudes are not a new set of commandments added to those proclaimed on Sinai. Instead of being normative, they are descriptive, a portrait of the life that is possible for those who believe in the love and compassion of God. The portrait is impossible to live up to perfectly, but we are all invited to do our best to use it as a paradigm for Christian life. Moreover the promise is that those who do so will be he "happy" which is what "blessed" means. The way to happiness we are told is to be found in the service of others.

read the padre
read the padre
Keep in touch...
Locally, and Globally! 
Read On
Check out
Andrew M. Greeley's Columns for the
Chicago SunTimes'
Daily Southtown
.
_

00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

Once upon a time, long, long ago in a country far, far away, there lived in the County of Kildare, a very holy woman named Brigid. She was in fact the abbess of a monastery of brothers and nuns with a few priests. Brigid was a very effective abbess. The monastery was always neat and clean, the sacred hours were sung punctually and well, the fields were well maintained, the animals well groomed and they were never permitted inside the monastery save when the poor dears might perish from the cold when the weather turned cold. Moreover, while the Holy Brigid ruled firmly, she was kind and good and everyone loved her. As she grew older she spent much of her time in the chapel praying, though some smart mouth novices said she was sleeping. As the older monks pointed out to them, in Ireland sleeping and praying were the same thing.

WELL, one day she was praying and up in heaven Himself said to Michael, "You know that woman works very hard and does a fine job. Why don't you go down there, Micky, and offer her one wish. Michael knew that such offers were always a dicey business, but, like the good angel he was, he did what he was told. He went down to Kildare and into the chapel and tapped the Holy Abbess on the shoulder. Brigie, he said, Himself says I should offer you one wish, whatever it is, and he'll grant it to you.
Brigie was nobody's fool. She knew all about this one wish game. So she said I'd like that my immortal soul be saved. That's already taken care of, the seraph replied, sure wouldn't himself be in terrible trouble altogether if he didn't take care of that. Well then I'd like to make a brief visit to heaven, just to see what it's like, if you take me meaning. Och, can't we arrange that easily enough? Still you'll have to have a peak in the other place just for the record. That's all right herself says. Maybe it will scare the hell out of me.
So in a twinkling of an eye weren't they in front of the gates of hell. And there was smoke and a terrible stench, and cries of the damned. Michael snaps his fingers and don't the smoking gates swing open. Brigid peers in and she sees a grand banquet, everyone in fine clothes and the tables laid with fine Irish linen and Waterford Crystal and Belkeek china, and there's the finest wines, red and white, from California and Caesar salad and roast beef with French sauce and seven different kinds of praties and chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and raspberries and whipped cream and Bailey's cream for after dinner.
And no one was eating. Rather they were all screaming in agony.
What's the matter with them damn fools, the Holy abbess demanded. Take a close look, the seraph said. So she took a close look and saw that they had no elbows and couldn't eat a bit of the feast. Get me out of this damned place, she said. It scares the hell out of me.
WELL in the twinkling of a thought weren't they at heaven's gate and all the choirs inside singing brilliantly altogether. So Michael snaps his fingers and the great cold and ivory gate swings open.
Like a little boy peering into the knothole in a baseball park, Brigie takes her sneaky peek into heaven. And you know what she sees? A grand banquet, everyone in fine clothes and the tables laid with fine Irish linen and Waterford Crystal and Belkeek china, and there's the finest wines, red and white, from California and Caesar salad and roast beef with French sauce and seven different kinds of praties and chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and raspberries and whipped cream and Bailey's cream for after dinner. And they can't bend their elbows either. Only they weren't screaming at all at all. They were singing happily
What's going on here, she asks? Take a closer look, Brigie.
And you know what she saw? Weren't they feeding one another
So ever afterwards when it was meal time in the abbey, didn't the Holy Abbess herself come down from the high table and serve everyone else (including the giggling novices) before she ate anything herself.
Sure, she'd say , isn't earth most like heaven when you're taking care of other people.

Securely purchase Andrew Greeley's New book - click here!

February Homilies:  3rd | 10th | 17th | 24th
Return to January Homilies

Sure, she'd say , isn't earth most like heaven when you're taking care of other people
Articles | Messages | Author | Homilies
Previews | Mailbox Newsletters | Home

 

Andrew M. Greeley 1995-'02
All Rights Reserved
Questions & Comments: Webmaster