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One day I was at my desk, and I was on the phone. Apparently, someone tried to buy Rhode Island with my credit card and I was trying to figure out how to get a new card. While I was on hold the doorbell rang. So I hung up and answered the door. There was a guy standing there who said, “ Fr. Peter?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Fr. Peter, it is so good to see you again. My name is Duker.” So let me ask you this: How many people do you know in your life by the name Duker? I know one person. He was my friend when I was twelve years old. I said with sudden surprise in my voice, “Duker, is that you?” I haven’t seen him in over forty years. Immediately upon recognizing him, I was whisked back to my childhood. Over the next 25 seconds, I learned that he has six children, they are big Celtics fans, drove from their home in Connecticut to see a game, found out I am living in Boston and came over to see me. I also learned that he married the girl I wanted to marry when I was twelve. That evening before I went to sleep I said a prayer. Before the prayer, I went over my whole day to review all the blessings I received. I remembered that I lost my credit card, but I saw my friend for the first time in years. That is when I prayed. Publishers and book distributors hate this prayer because it is only one word. When I see all the good things God has done for me, I open my mouth and say, “Wow.” It is my favorite prayer.
One time I was at an airport in Florida waiting to board my flight back to Boston. A massive thunderstorm rolled in the area, and my flight was canceled. I went to an agent to rebook my flight, and she informed me that there that all the flights were filled to Boston. I would not be able to return until tomorrow night. I explained to her that I was a priest and I had two weddings to officiate. She said to me, “I see, well, I will have to make you a VIP and book you a flight first thing in the morning.” I said, “Wow, this is the first time in my life that I am a VIP.” I got home in time for the weddings (barely). Then I left the airport and the air was cool and refreshing after the thunder storm. I said, “Wow.” God turned on the AC. Then God said, “Finally, someone notices me.” So you see, “Wow” is a great prayer.
God is in our lives every day but sometimes we are so busy or caught up in our problems that we do not see the blessings. Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the story, a man who fell to robbers. Let’s say it is the end of the day. He has two choices. He could say, “I had a terrible day today. I was cursed. I was minding my own business walking to Jericho and a group of thieves jumped me. They took my possessions, stripped me of my clothes, beat me, and left me to die.” Or he could say, “today was a terrific day. I was blessed by God because someone saved my life today.
The very next story after the man who fell to robbers, Jesus visits Mary and Martha. Martha is focused on the bad stuff: “I have to do all of this work by myself.” Mary is focused on the good stuff: “God is in our home.”
Know this: every single day we live, we are blessed because God is in it. We just have to have to eyes to see it.Back to All Homilies