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When they laid Jesus in the tomb everyone was sad. Why? Because they didn’t let Him finish the story.

A few seasons ago Tom Brady tossed an interception near the end of the fourth quarter. He handed the ball to the team who was already winning. Forty thousand fans left the stadium. They didn’t want to hang around to witness the inevitable. Those fans, however, missed one of the best and most exciting comebacks in franchise history. Tom Brady and the boys marched down the field and got a winning touchdown in the last five seconds of the game. Why did the fans miss out?  Because they didn’t watch Tom Brady finish the game.

The day after the Super Bowl I called dad, and I asked, “What did you do when the Patriots were down 28 -3 late in the third quarter?” He said, “I turned off the TV in disgust and went to bed.” Dad missed out because he didn’t let Tom Brady and Bill finish the story.

At the end of my first year in the seminary, I went to the rector’s office for my evaluation. It didn’t go very well  He said my grades were low, and the staff didn’t think I could cut it as a priest.  They decided, however, to give me one more semester.  I was devastated. I remember going to church and putting my head down, I said to God, “I thought You wanted me to be a priest. I wanted to be a priest since I was in second grade. Did I get the signals mixed up?” God then spoke to me. He said, “Peter, Peter, will you let Me finish the story?” Humbly I said, “Yes, you can finish the story.”

Many years after I was ordained, I was driving with another priest to St. John’s Seminary to teach a class in New Testament Greek. As we were driving, I said, “Do you remember my first year in the seminary when you wanted to kick me out because I was not smart enough? Did you ever think, back then, that someday I would be going to St. John’s to teach?  He turned to me and said, “That was God!” After he said that, God spoke to me again. He said, “So, what did you think of My story?” I said, “I love the ending.

When my mother died, I was heartbroken. After a few phone calls, I needed some time to be alone. I went to my room and sat on the corner of the bed, and I pictured her with Jesus.  Jesus told her, “You can go back if you want.” My mother looked up at the glorious Beatific vision, then she looked over His left shoulder and saw the seven choirs of angels singing, she took a look at her new room in the Divine mansion, and then she saw her mother. They were always best friends. After seeing all of that she said to Jesus, “I am not going anywhere.”  Then Jesus said, “What about your family?”  My mother said, “They will be fine; they know that I am with You, and if they don’t know, my son is a priest, and he will tell them.”

Here is my closing thought. Let’s suppose I invited King David to give the talk on this special occasion. He would say something like this: “I was a boy when I had to fight Goliath.  He had complete body armor, and his sword was bigger than me. When he saw me, he was angry. They sent a boy to do a man’s job. “I will cut you up and feed you to the birds.” When he started to come for me, I said to God, “Let it be me, God. Let me tell the world today how great you are. Let me be the one to show your glory.” I took out my sling-shot, God steadied my hand, and I got him right between the eyes. I, David, showed the world how great God is. Now Lord, this is your moment in time to show the world how great God is.

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