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A Seamless Robe

You shall love your neighbor as yourself
Mark 12:28-34

Sermon Topic Love

Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:31

Keywords

There is a wonderful "New Yorker" magazine cartoon which depicts a woman, scowling, as she says:

One day Arnie, my husband, pointed out to me that every word I said sounded exactly like my mother. So he sent me into analysis and I worked on it for a year. But when I thought I sounded better, Arnie, my husband, pointed out to me that every word I said sounded exactly like my father. He sent me back into analysis and I worked on it for a year. But when I thought I sounded better, Arnie (he's my husband) pointed out that every word I said sounded like my analyst. So he had me change analysts and I worked on it for a year. Now it is over six months and every word I say sounds like my husband. He thinks I'm cured!

The poet E. E. Cummings once said that in a world that is doing its best day and night to make you into everybody else, trying to be nobody but yourself means to fight the hardest battle that any human being can fight -- and the battle never ends. Psychiatrists tell us that the refusal to be oneself is a commonplace problem and a major cause of inferiority complexes, feelings of insecurity, personal frustrations and even anti-social behavior. In the words of one prominent practitioner, "The greatest tragedy in life is that while we were born originals, we die carbon copies." It seems that while God works to bring out our uniqueness, we work to be like everybody else.

One reason for the immense popularity of the "Peanuts" comic strips is that so many of us can readily identify with poor Charlie Brown's lack of self-esteem. In one "Peanuts" episode, we find Lucy leaning back in her booth marked, "Psychiatric Help, 5 ." She is saying to her "patient,"

All right, Charlie Brown, let's put it another way. Each of us has a grocery cart and the world is our supermarket. The world is filled with wonderful things. Push your cart down the aisles, Charlie Brown! Push it [...]

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