TUESDAY 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
THEME: Charity Begins at Home
BY: Deacon Bill Frere
Dad’s Store, Maryland
Gospel – Mark 2:23-28
Just to be clear, today’s photo is NOT from the Holy Land What you see is my dad’s little country store set in the farmland of Southern Maryland surrounded by forests and tobacco/corn fields, with our home just a few steps to the left. It was not just a grocery store; it was a gas station, post office, deli, meat market, ice cream shop and liquor store for the countryside. That front porch was a regular meeting spot, outdoor café if you will! And somehow that modest establishment got my brother, 2 sisters and myself not only through high school but college as well. I still can’t figure out how he did it.
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There was a sign posted on the door listing hours that he was open. But I always thought they were more suggestions than hard and fast rules. It didn’t matter to Dad whether the store was open or not or if it was the dead of night; if someone came by and needed something, he would generously open the store and take care of them. Even on Sunday’s when he really was closed, many’s the time he would stop what he was doing (playing softball with us) and he would unlock the store because they needed a quart of milk or some eggs or something for their sick child. He never felt imposed upon or resented what we might have thought was an imposition. It was in his nature to care for others, willingly and cheerfully.
Today’s Gospel has the Pharisees complaining that the disciples are breaking the Sabbath law of no work by picking grain to eat. I think you can see where I’m going with this. Jesus responds quite pointedly – the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,.
I learned a lot of things from my Dad, some from his words, most from his actions. And today’s lesson couldn’t be clearer. Charity has no restrictions or time limits. And charity really does begin at home!
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