A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him.

REFLECTION: "If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

A true story.......

One day many years ago, in a little town in Luxembourg , a Captain of the Forest Guards was in deep conversation with the butcher when an elderly woman entered the shop. The butcher broke off the conversation to ask the old woman what she wanted. She had come to beg for a little meat but had no money.

The Captain was amused at the woman and the butcher. ‘Only a little meat, but how much are you going to give her?’, he wondered.

‘I am sorry I have no money but I’ll hear Mass for you, ‘ the woman told the butcher. Both the butcher and the Captain were indifferent about religion, so they at once began to scoff at the old woman’s idea.

‘All right then,’ said the butcher. ‘You go and hear Mass for me and when you come back I’ll give you as much as the Mass is worth’.

The woman left the shop and returned later. She approached the counter and the butcher said. ‘All right then we’ll see.’

He took a slip of paper and wrote on it ‘I heard a Mass for you.’ He placed the paper on the scales and a tiny bone on the other side, but nothing happened. Next he placed a piece of meat instead of the bone, but still the paper proved heavier.

Both men were beginning to feel ashamed of their mockery but continued their game. A large piece of meat was placed on the balance, but still the paper held its own. The butcher, exasperated, examined the scales but found they were alright.

‘What do you want my good woman? Must I give you a whole leg of mutton?’ At this he placed the leg of mutton on the balance, but the paper outweighed the meat. A larger piece of meat was put on, but again the weight remained on the side of the paper.

This so impressed the butcher that he was converted and promised to give the woman her daily ration of meat.

As for the Captain, he left the shop a changed man and became an ardent lover of daily Mass. Two of his sons became priests, one a Jesuit & the other a Father of the Sacred Heart.

Father Stanislaus finished the story by saying, ‘I am from the Religious of the Sacred Heart & the Captain was my father’.

‘From this incident the Captain became a daily Mass attendant and his children were trained to follow his example. Later, when his sons became priests, he advised them to say Mass well every day and never miss the Sacrifice of the Mass through any fault of their own.

The End....

Any one who encounters God is changed. This change is purely a gift of grace. And knowing that God will chase after you no matter what, how this story ends should not be of any surprise. We celebrate daily Mass and contemplate our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration because His true flesh and blood are present. The intimate relationship of the Father and the Son is a glorification of each other. And through His obedience to His Father, we are given His life.

As with the butcher and the Forest Guard captain, may we call upon the Lord, praise and worship Him at Mass and dedicate our will to His. He allowed the captain and the butcher to experience their cynicism, sarcasm and weakness before He gave them His many graces through the Mass. And in the Mass we offer our suffering, pain, hope and love symbolically in the wine and bread. And by the strength of God's Word they are divinely transformed from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.

There is no measure of the cost of a Mass because we cannot measure the Sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ, in redeeming us. Nothing will ever supercede the costly great gift of His Eucharistic presence. Many have come to believe in Him.

God Bless You.

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