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Blood, Sweat And Tears

He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs (Mark 6:7) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In a recent magazine cartoon, a job applicant is depicted seated across a desk from the hiring manager. With the interview obviously coming to its conclusion, the applicant has a worried look on his face as the interviewer says, "So that's our offer: blood, sweat, tears and dental." -1 Funny stuff. These days, I don't know how many employers are offering dental, but this I do know. At least metaphorically speaking, work often does require our blood, sweat and tears.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Mark tells us that Jesus "summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs . . . So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them" (Mk.6:7,13). As we have learned, those first twelve were willing to not only commit their blood, sweat and tears -- but their very lives. It is very early in Jesus' public ministry but already He is sending out His followers to teach and heal and witness to the Good News of a Gracious God who cares infinitely about His human creation.

Every Christian is commissioned to a ministry of love and justice, in the Name of Jesus Christ. The new life into which God is calling each one of you includes your participation as ministers of the Gospel, priests of the Lord. Whatever your vocation -- salesperson, lawyer, clerk, doctor, homemaker, musician, whatever -- you are at the same time a full-time minister of Jesus Christ out in the world. And so often this means a genuine commitment of blood, sweat and tears.

As loyal disciples we don't come to Church merely to get what we can from Jesus. We don't come to Church merely to have our needs met. If we are serious about wanting to follow Christ, we soon discover that we cannot qualify if we're motivated by selfish desires. We soon discover that genuine discipleship involves more than getting what we can for ourselves. We soon discover that we are being called to a ministry of loving service. No matter where we [...]

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Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).

Burden

Three men set out on a journey. Each carried two sacks around his neck - one in front and one in back. The first man was asked what was in his sacks. "In this one on my back," he said, "I carry all the kind deeds of my friends. In that way they are out of sight and out of mind and I don't have to do anything about them. They're soon forgotten. This sack in front carries all the unkind things people do to me. I pause in my journey every day to take them out and air them, lest I forget them. It slows me down, but nobody gets away with anything." The second man was asked what was in his sacks. "In this one on my back, I keep all my little mistakes. I keep them behind me, out of my view. This sack in front carries my own good deeds. I constantly keep them before me. I pause in my journey every day to take them out and air them, lest I forget them. It slows me down, but I take great pleasure in them. The third man was asked what was in his sacks. "I carry my friends' kind deeds in this front sack," he said. "It looks full, but it is not heavy. Far from slowing me down, it is like the sails of a ship. It helps me move ahead. "The sack on my back has a hole in the bottom. That's where I put all the evil I hear from others. It just falls out and is lost, so I have not burden to impede me." GUESS WHO FINISHED FIRST! "Soundings" (adapted).

Open–Mindedness

Close-minded people put others down, Open-minded people are tolerant and understanding. Close-minded people can’t see the good in people who disagree with them, Open-minded people see some good in everyone. Close-minded people mind other people’s business, Open-minded people mind their own. Close-minded people are envious and jealous, Open-minded people are contented and thankful. Close-minded people know-it-all, Open-minded people realize how little we all know. Close-minded people belittle other cultures and customs, Open-minded people know the value of diversity. Close-minded people are suspicious and overly-cautious, Open-minded people are trusting and adventurous. Close-minded people talk without thinking, Open-minded people think before talking. Close-minded people think they are always right, Open-minded people realize how easy it is to be wrong. Close-minded people like to judge others, Open-minded people let others judge them. Close-minded people form opinions without information, Open-minded people value facts before opinion. Close-minded people are self-centered, Open-minded people put others before themselves. Which are you — open-minded or closed-minded?

Negativism, Cynicism, Family

“Parents, never drive your children to resentment, but in bringing them up correct them and guide them as the Lord does.” (Ephesians 6:4). This scene that took place recently at a service station: A woman drove up and said, “Fill it up and check the oil.” Then she noticed a computerized screen that the proprietor had installed where it could be seen by motorists waiting for their tanks to be filled — the idea being to provide customers with a little diversion while their cars were being serviced. The digitized message that the woman saw flashing across the screen read as follows: “Your parents ruined the first half of your life! Your children will ruin the second half!” The woman was not amused. She felt that the message was especially inappropriate -- even if intended to amuse — at a time when the need to strengthen family loyalties and enrich family values are so badly needed. And so she made her case to the gas station proprietor who, on reflection, acknowledged that the message was “sleazy,” as he put it, and agreed to have it removed from the computer program.

Motivation

There is the story about a golfer who set up his ball on the tee, swung mightily and missed. His club hit an ant-hill, killing thousands of ants. He became more and more frustrated as he repeatedly swung and missed. And each time he missed, he slaughtered more ants. Finally, there were just two little ants left. One of them raised his head and hollered over to the other, “It looks like if you want to save your life around her, you’d better get on the ball.”

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