Yes, They Are Listening
A few weeks ago, my youngest son hopped into the mom-van after school and without any prompting, excitedly recounted a parable Father Homero Rodriguez told during his homily at school mass that morning. That evening he told his dad about the homily, again without any prompting. A third conversation occurred later that week, as he had made connections with real world issues and discussed them at length.
I was sorry I did not hear this first hand, so I asked Father Homero if he would share his words. He graciously shared this work, translated from his native Spanish.
“Once upon a time, there was a very holy and faithful nun who wanted to know what heaven and hell looked like. So she prayed to God every night for an opportunity to see these two places.
“One night, after she finished praying, she went to sleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to her in her dreams. The Angel said to her: ‘God has listened to your prayer. Tonight you get to see heaven and hell. First I’m going to take you to hell.’
“They entered this huge and beautiful castle; it was a wonderful place decorated with gold and other precious metals. And in the middle of the castle there was a very long and elegant table, and on the table, there was a lot of food, all kinds of delicious food.
“But the people there were starving. Even though there was a lot of food, they were wailing and weeping because they couldn’t eat. Their arms had no elbows so they couldn’t take any food to their mouths. And their backs were also stiff so they couldn’t even bend over to eat. These people in hell were miserable.
“Then the angel said to the holy nun, ‘Now I’m going to take you to heaven.’
“So they went, and to her surprise, they entered a huge beautiful castle… just like the one in hell. There was the same long table in the middle with lots of food. The people didn’t have elbows in their arms either, and their backs were also stiff.
“But, the difference was that they were very healthy; these people were very happy and joyful because they fed one another. They cared for each other, and that’s exactly what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. We are God’s hands in the world. We are called to love and to care for one another.
“Sometimes in life, we’ll have to be the ones feeding and helping other people; and sometimes, we will be the ones that will need to be fed.”
Thank you, Father Homero. The children were listening.