13th Sunday of the Year A
Who knows? A warm welcome to a stranger can make a huge difference in a young life.
After Dad died it fell to me to take Mom to the supermarket. We had radically different shopping styles. I was an aisle-by-aisle person working one end of the store to the other. Mom was a recipe shopper wandering all over for items for the meals she was planning on cooking.
It drove me crazy as we kept retracing our steps—that and her telling me she only needed a few staples. We’d never leave with less than six bags. So I wasn’t in the best mood when we finally got back to my car. Just as I popped the trunk a 10-year-old boy appeared offering to unload our basket for two bucks. I told him “no thanks,” but Mom motioned him to go ahead and do it. I watched with disbelief as she reached into her purse and handed him a 10 dollar bill when he finished. He ran off grinning.
Before I could tell her that I could have done it and, more important, ask her why 10 dollars, she simply told me that he was trying to do honest work and maybe someday if he was tempted to do something wrong he would remember being rewarded by a stranger and do the right thing instead. End of discussion. How do you argue with that? Who knows? He could be a doctor or a cop or maybe a priest today. Probably he’s a good dad teaching his son what a generous old lady taught him long ago.
Fr. Dominic Grassi