The Expression Of Life
Sermon Topic Family Life
Sermon Week Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scripture Summary Luke 9:62
A famous preacher tells of receiving a letter from a parishioner which began as follows: "I listened to your sermon on suffering last Sunday. I just wanted you to know that I didn't know what suffering was until I heard you preach." In a more serious vein, he tells of a letter he received from another parishioner, a mother, who wrote that until recently, she didn't know what love was, despite the hundreds of sermons on love she had listened to over the years.
This mother had been reared in the highest echelons of society in a southern U.S. city. She was formally presented in society, was always very active in the Church, always on just the right committees and in the right places and everything was just right. And she really believed she was a Christian. "But," she wrote, "there was one problem." One of her children, it seems, had given her a lot of trouble. As this mother said, "The child learned how to say 'No' at a very early age and just kept on saying it." This didn't fit into her way of life. It disrupted the comfortable routine and she began to resent her own daughter. It became more and more obvious to the daughter and to everyone else (though this woman hid it from herself) until, finally, the thirteen-year-old child ran away from home. The note she left said, "It's very obvious, mother, that you don't love me and it would be better for both of us if I go away. "My world collapsed," the woman wrote. "At first, out of sheer humiliation, that I, a prominent society person and a prominent church woman should have her daughter leave home under such circumstances. Then the humiliation gave way to a deep sense of despair when I finally became honest enough to say to myself, 'I don't love my daughter. I don't even love myself.' "And she said she just had to go down on her knees and somehow begin this whole business of being a Christian over again, from scratch. And the words she'd been [...]