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Be Satisfied

The last will be first and the first last
Matthew 20:1-16

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Sermon Week Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 20:16


A man had found a magic lantern and, for years, every time he rubbed it a "Genie" would appear to grant his wish. The man was a real worry-bird and, because of his constant anxious worries, he kept the "Genie" busy all the time. This went on for years -- one wish after another -- until, one day, when the man rubbed his magic lantern for the fifth time that week, the Genie appeared and said: "I am sick and tired of your anxious worry and your constant wishing. I have decided to settle this arrangement we have once and for all. I will grant your next three wishes only. Nothing more. After that, you're on your own."

The man made his first wish immediately. He asked that his wife would disappear so that he could marry a better woman. His wish came true at once. But when friends and relatives discovered she was gone, they began to recall all the wife's good qualities. This saddened the man and he realized he had been hasty. Where would he find a better woman than his wife? So he asked the Genie to bring her back, and immediately his wish was granted. Now he had but one wish left. He fretted and agonized and anxiously worried about that third wish. He was determined not to make another mistake, since he would be unable to correct it. He went everywhere for advice. Some people told him to wish for immortality. But if he got too sick to enjoy life, he reasoned, what good would immortality be? "Maybe," he told himself, "I should wish for good health." But then he asked himself: "What good is health if I don't have much money? And what good is money if I have no friends?" Many years passed and still he worried -- he couldn't decide on health or wealth or power or money or the dozens of other ideas that kept cropping up. Finally, in desperation, he cried out, "Someone tell me what to ask for!" And he heard a gentle voice from within answer: "Ask [...]

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