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What do shepherds do all day? They watch sheep. What do sheep do all day? They eat. That is, they graze on alfalfa weeds: very boring, especially for the young shepherd David. So he took out the ancient version of the video game, his slingshot.
Whenever a wild animal scurried across the field or flew around him, he put a bull’s eye on its back. Needless to say, he was good at it. So when David was standing before the great warrior Goliath he thought to himself, “Oh, a very large, slow-moving target.” David grabbed the slingshot. About a half a minute later the world was not the same. Two nations observed God’s power from the sidelines and were stunned. What happened? David simply put his talent in God’s hand.
Mother Teresa once said to God, “I want to help the poor in Calcutta.” Calcutta? You better have a degree from an Ivy League school to take on the poor of Calcutta. You better have a lot of money to take on Calcutta. You better have political connections to take on Calcutta. So God asked Mother Theresa, “What do you have to take on Calcutta?” She said, “I do not have a lot of education and do not have any money and my health is fragile, but I can say the rosary, and I know how to hold babies.” God said to her, “I can use that.” And Mother Teresa took on Calcutta.
One cold wintry day I entered an empty J.P. Licks ice cream shop. There was a barrel-chested man behind the counter wearing a Patriot’s Sweat-shirt. I like this guy. I said, “Hey, how’s it going?” He shrugged his shoulders and faced his empty palms upward in a gesture that said it could be better. What did I expect from an ice cream guy in the middle of the winter? He said, “What can I get you?” I said, “I’ll have a mocha frappe.” (If you are not from Boston, a frappe is an ice cream milkshake …sort of). He turned and as he was putting the ice cream into the cup I thought I would make his day. I said to him, “About two months ago my mother lost her appetite and was no longer eating anything. My father took her to see her doctor. I was in the room with my father when the doctor looked at us and said, ‘You have to find something that she likes to eat, I do not care what it is. There has to be something that she likes so we can stimulate her appetite. She will not survive a feeding tube with her condition.’ We tried everything and we started to get desperate. Then I came in here and you made me a mocha frappe and since that day she has got her appetite back and she is doing much better. I just wanted you to know that.” He put the lid on the cup, and before he handed me the frappe he said, “You have a great day.”
You may never know the impact that you will have on others. David had no idea that during his low paying and thankless job he was working on a skill that would serve God and change the world. Mother Teresa had no idea the impact she would make on the world when she entered Calcutta with no money. The disciples had no idea the impact they would make while they listened to Jesus instructions at the Last Supper. They didn’t even know what he was talking about but they needed to be there to hear those words which changed the world.
You may think that you do not have much. You may think I am not doing very much these days. But it doesn’t take much for God so say to you, “I can use that.”Back to All Homilies