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Why Doesn't It Happen?

The greatest among you will be the one who serves the rest
Matthew 23:1-12

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Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 23:11


In one of comedian Woody Allen's routines, he receives a telephone call from a man who says, "We want you to make a Smirnoff Vodka ad for a magazine." Woody Allen replies, 'I'm afraid I can't do that. I don't drink, and if I did it wouldn't be vodka. It would be dishonest for me to do the ad. I can't be hypocritical." The voice on the other end replies "There's fifty thousand dollars in it." And Woody answers, "Just a minute, I'll call Mr. Allen to the phone." They talk further. Finally Woody Allen says, "I'll think about it. Let me call you back." Then he goes to his Rabbi for counsel. "It definitely would be morally wrong for you to do the ad," the Rabbi advises. Hearing this, Woody Allen calls the man back and says, "Sorry, I can't do the ad." Three weeks later he sees a Smirnoff Vodka magazine ad in which his Rabbi appears, holding up a glass of vodka.

Rabbis, ministers, priests, you and I, it's simply amazing how money or other inducements can change our values suddenly. This is especially true of the constant shifting of values that takes place somewhere between the time we spend here in Church and the time we spend "out there" during the week.

This is a good time. We can look forward to it each week with a deep sense of awe and wonder: What is God going to do in this time of special Grace? Good things can happen to you in Church. God can become present to you in a special way. In a worship setting such as this you can feel light come into your life as never before. New hope, new insights, new approaches to old problems, new levels of understanding of family, neighbor, friend, enemy. A worship experience can enrich your life in these ways if you are open to the possibilities and the surprises that can come. And it's not the music, it's not the preacher, it's not the sermon, it's not the ritualistic setting (however beautiful it may be), it's [...]

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