Transforming our Attitudes and Perspectives
Second Sunday of Easter, April 8, 2018
Once there was a street vendor who sold hot dogs -- the best hot dogs in town. Because he was hard of hearing he did not have a radio; because he had trouble with his eyes, he did not read the newspaper or watch much television. But he sold delicious hot dogs.
He started with a few signs along the highway advertising them. Every day he was at his favorite corner crying out "Hot dogs, hot dogs, buy a hot dog.” Soon the word was out about his hot dogs. He increased his meat and bun orders. Then he bought a bigger cart to take care of his trade. Business was booming. The vendor was smiling from ear to ear.
One day his son was home from college and decided to help out. "Dad," he said, “What are you doing? Increasing your order for hot dogs and buns? We’re in a recession. Haven't you been listening to the radio? Haven't you been reading the newspapers? Haven’t you been watching TV? These are tough times; there's a recession on. The stock market is collapsing. The dollar is falling. Nobody's buying hot dogs anymore."
"Gee", the father thought, "my son's been to college, he reads the papers and listens to the radio and watches TV, so he ought to know what he's talking about.
So the hot dog vendor cut back his meat and bun orders, took down his highway signs, and cut back his hours. His sales fell overnight. His smile disappeared.
"You were right, son," the hot dog vendor said. "I had no idea times were so hard. We certainly ARE in the middle of a recession."
It is so easy to let bad news, disappointment, and hardship overwhelm us. Much like Thomas in today's Gospel, we can let ourselves become so beaten down and discouraged by life that our cynicism begins to destroy our Spirit. When this happens we are no longer able to realize God's presence in our lives; we lose all reason to dream, to hope, to approach life with any sense of enthusiasm.
Then we see ourselves as victims rather than as among the blessed. We let our discouragement and failures overwhelm the many good things that have happened to give our lives joy and meaning. We fail to see this life of ours as a gift from God.
We soon develop cynicism we know all too well, a cynicism that refuses to embrace the possibilities of resurrection in the midst of death.
In conclusion, may our Easter celebration transform our attitudes and perspectives, opening our eyes and hearts and spirits to encounter God in all of creation; in every manifestation of selflessness; in every act of joyful love; in every victory of light over darkness, of hope over despair, of good over evil. Amen.
Fr. Terry Hazel
The community of believers was of one heart and mind.
1 Jn 5:1–6
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
[Jesus said,] “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”