Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Pastor

Recently we had the Olympic and the Paralympic games. The best athletes from around the world competed against each other. The games were exciting and enjoyable to watch. The sad news is that the participants have to be screened for illegal substances. There is so much drug use, that athletes have to be tested. The testing seems to be a game in itself; how to avoid detection. Some athletes want to succeed and win at all costs. It is a far cry from the spirit of the games and the story I read recently.

Years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants lined up for the 100 yard dash. At the sound of the starting gun, they all made a great effort to run down the track toward the finish line. That is, except for the one young boy who stumbled and fell. He began to cry. Two of the other racers, hearing the cries of the boy, slowed down and looked back at him. Without hesitation, they went toward the injured boy.

While the other contestants forged ahead, they run back and helped the boy to his feet. All three of them walked together to the finish line. By the time they reached the end, everyone in the stands was standing and cheering, some with tears rushing down their faces. Even though by turning back and helping the boy who fell, they lost their own chance to win the race, they all had smiles on their faces. They knew they had done the right thing.

There is something wonderful about winning and being the best. We all want to succeed. But helping others brings out the best in us. When we are conscious of the needs of the people around us and see how we might serve them, we are true winners. For in serving, our heart expands, and as Jesus says, we enter into the heart of God.

– Fr. Joe

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