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The Gift Of Space

Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the Name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

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Sermon Week Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 9:41

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How do we love those who are closest to us? Love is a many splendored thing, as we know. But it is in our close relationships that we have the opportunity of expressing love in a very special way. And that is by calling forth the unique gifts of the persons who are close to us.

Psychologist Alan Guinnis wrote a book1 in which he says:

One of the dangers of being a psychologist/reformer is that you are tempted to remake people in your own image. But God made each person unique and there is a vast mystery and beauty surrounding the human soul. Good psychologists are like good astronomers who spend their lives studying the stars to determine why certain stellar systems behave as they do and why black holes exist. And in the end they are even more in awe at the grandeur of it all ... If I can help my patients understand who God made them to be and help them to be that person, it is quite enough. We dare not attempt to shape other persons in our own image -- even our children, especially our children. It is quite enough, as the psychologist points out, if we can help them to become the persons God made them to be.

The following story (author anonymous) expresses the tragic, life-stifling consequences that result when individuals and institutions do not allow space for growth and creative development:

Once a little boy went to school. One morning when the little boy had been in school for awhile, the teacher said, "Today we are going to make a picture." "Good," thought the little boy. He liked to make pictures. He could make lions and tigers and trains and boats. He took out his crayons and began to draw. But the teacher said, "Wait. It's not time to begin." And she waited until everyone looked ready. "Now," said the teacher, "we are going to make flowers." "Good," thought the little boy, and he began to make beautiful flowers with his orange and pink and blue crayons. But the teacher said, [...]

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