16 Pentecost, C proper 22 October 6, 2019
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Psalm 37:1-10
2 Timothy 1:1-14 Luke 17:5-10
I would like to tell you a story about two little girls who were sisters. One was ten and the other was eight. Their names were Susie and Sally. Sally, the younger sister had some bad luck. She had taken a bad fall while riding her bike and she had broken her leg. So, she had to remain in bed. Their mother came to their bedroom and said, "Susie, I would like for you to clean your room now." And Susie said, "But do I have to do it alone?" Her mom said, "Yes, you do because your sister cannot get on her feet."
Susie was pouting about having to clean her bedroom alone. Sally said to her, "Susie, I am jealous of you." Susie ask her, "Why are you jealous of me?" Sally said, "Because you get to clean the room. You have two strong legs and you can move around. I cannot clean the room because I have to stay in bed."
So Susie thought, "Well, I guess I should be thankful, because I get to clean my room, because I can."
What Jesus was trying to teach with his stories is that all of us are supposed to do good. And we get to do good because we can do it.
As babies and little children we think that we should be rewarded to do good. Or we might be afraid of punishment if we don't do good. But as we grow up, we realize that the reward is that we get to do good. Doing good things is its own reward.
St. Francis was a hero because he discovered. "Wow, God, I get to be good. It is the best reward of all to be able to do good things." So what did Francis do? He gave his money to poor people. He collected food for them to eat. He was a friend of animals and the trees and the sunlight. What reward did St. Francis want? Yes, he like everyone, probably wanted to go to heaven, but he discovered that we can have a reward before we go to heaven. What is the reward? We get to be good. We get to be kind. We get to share with other people. To be able to love is the best reward of all.
Jesus also said that a little mustard seed would grow into a very big tree. He was teaching his disciples that they could not have "big faith" without doing all of the little deeds of faith each day, each hour and each minute. If we do all of the little deeds of faith, they collect and form the character of our lives.
Let us learn of Jesus and Francis today: We get to be good. That is our reward. And when we get to be good, we help others, we help our pets and we also take good care of our environment.
Let us say today to Jesus. Thank you Jesus for this great reward. Our reward is that we get to be good. Amen.