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One time a guy called my brother and asked him if he would work in his new computer company. He told my brother that he didn’t have a lot of money, but he could pay him with stock options. My brother thought long and hard about it, but in the end, he declined. Later, my brother called me and said, “Do you remember the guy that offered me a job in his computer company. He didn’t have a lot of money, but he would have given me a lot of stock options?” I retorted, “Ya.” He said, “I just found out that the guy who took the offer I declined retired from the company, sold his stock options, and bought an island.” I said, “You big dummy. How did you let an opportunity like that get away?” He said, “I didn’t know. I was just married, and we were going to have a baby. I just didn’t know.” The reason I tell you the story is because there is a difference between my brother evaluating a job offer and us as Christians. My brother didn’t know the value of the stock options, but we do. We know.
I had to pick up a bunch of bags of salt at Home Depot. Upon entering the store, a Home Depot guy asked me if I wanted to apply for a Home Depot credit card. “No thanks,” I said. He told me I would get a twenty percent discount on all purchases today and I could pile up reward points. I told him, “Don’t get me wrong. I would like to have a Home Depot credit card, but I can’t have one because I have no credit history.” I explained to him that I was a religious priest and I do not have personal credit. He said, “You are a priest, and you have a church? Of course, we want your business, of course, we will get you a card.” I said, “Fine, go ahead and try.” So he gets on the phone with the credit office, and he says, “This is Bob at the Watertown Home Depot and I need to issue a credit card for a priest that has a church.” He then handed me the phone with one hand and gave me an enthusiastic thumbs-up with the other. I got on the phone, and the woman says to me: “May I have your Name.” So I gave her my name. “Address.” So I gave her my address. “Phone… E-mail… Zip-code.” After a few moments, she said, “I am very sorry sir, but we cannot issue you a credit card at this time, is there anything else I can do for you today.” I didn’t get the credit card because I have no credit history. Now that you have heard about my experience picture yourself in front of heaven’s gate just after you die. You knock on the door and someone answers the do and asks you a question. This is the question. Can you give me your “Name… address… phone number.” You better have a credit history or you may be declined. Remember we are well warned in the Scriptures to amass treasures of heaven and not earthly treasure.
I was using the snow blower one day, and I saw a guy trying to dig his car out of a snowbank with one of those portable shovels that fit in the glove compartment of the vehicle. When I saw him chipping away at the mountain of snow, I offered him help which he accepted. I ate away the snow with the snow blower, put some salt in front of the tires, and gave him a push. He pulled out and that was the end of him. I did not get a pat on the back, a Christmas card, or certificate of appreciation. I tell you what I got. I got divine credit.
I was asked to help at a reconciliation service at a parish. After the service, I was in the vestibule with the pastor. The pastor asked the sacristan if he gave me a check for my assistance. The sacristan said, “No.” The pastor said to me, “I will send you a check. Don’t worry, I won’t forget. He forgot. And good. I got credit.
I was sitting at my office on a cold wintry stormy day correcting student papers when the doorbell rang. I got on the intercom and asked: “Can I help you?” The voice on the other end said, “Can I see a priest.” I went to the door, and there was a man about my build without a coat and hat dripping wet. He said, “I’m cold.” I said, “Of course your cold. Get in here quick.” I said, “Wait here.” I ran up to my room and grabbed my clothes because he had my build. He changed into my cloths and left the rectory. I remember waving goodbye to him and goodbye to half my wardrobe. I did not follow-up visit. thank you, a thank you card. And I am glad I didn’t because I got credit.
Here is my point. God does not pay us for being nice. He does not pay us for all those thankless jobs that we do every day. He gives us no pay for changing dirty diapers. We do not get a check when people insult us, and we turn the other cheek. We do not amass large amounts of money when people do dumb things to us, hurt us, and we instead cut them a break. But God does not pay us cash but He does give credit. So here is what to do. Go out there and build up a credit history because someday you will cash in your stocks, and as the Gospel says, on that day you will rejoice and be glad.Back to All Homilies