Did you hear about the lady who donated a million dollars to earthquake research?
They said she was generous to a fault.
Imagine for a moment a line-up of stores. The first store is a barbershop. In the window is a sign that reads: Come to me all you who are shaggy, and I will give you the best haircut you’ve ever had.
The second store is a cleaners. In the window is a sign that reads: Come to me if your clothes are spotted and dirty, and I will make them spotless and clean.
The third store is a small restaurant. In the window is a sign that reads: Come in here if you are hungry, and I will fill you up.
Then there is a fourth store. It has a sign in the window that reads: Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
A new proprietor of this store has just been appointed. It is – you. And there is a long line of people waiting to get in. They are tired and weary, sad and lonely, worn out and depressed. They need help. What in the world are you going to do for them?
Maybe you could offer them a glass of water, or soak their feet or give them a back rub. But that would not be enough. They are looking for something more than that. What can you do?
You think for a moment and then you come up with a plan. So you lead them out of the store, down the road and bring them to – Assumption parish. Not just to our church and school buildings, but to the neighborhoods where our parishioners live. Why here?
All those who are weary and find life burdensome need someone to listen to them, to hear their story, so they don’t feel so all alone. And Assumption parish has people who are good listeners.
All those who are tired and weary need someone to encourage them and cheer them on. And Assumption parish has people who are good at that.
All those who are tired and weary need someone who can walk beside them because there is strength in teamwork. Assumption parish has people who are good at that.
Some people are tired and weary of being judged by their clothes, their accent or the color of their skin. They need someone who will accept them, respect them and even cherish them just because they are human beings created by God. Assumption parish has people who do just that.
All those who are tired and weary need some fun in their lives, and Assumption people are good at having fun.
Then we gather all these tied and weary people and bring them here with us to Mass. First they are welcomed by all present. The Mass begins with a spirit of hospitality. A handshake and a smile can do a lot to lift up a person’s spirit.
Then together we listen to the Word of God. We listen to how people of Old Testament times coped with problems, how the apostles dealt with tough times, and how Jesus dealt with failure and rejection.
We hear about God’s patience and forgiveness. Here we learn reasons for hope.
Then we gather around our big sturdy altar where we can dump all our problems and give them to God.
At this altar we recall our blessings and give thanks. Gratitude dispels sadness.
Then our altar becomes a table. Here we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus. We are empowered by the presence of Christ in our hearts.
And finally, we are sent forth. Nourished by Word and Sacrament we are sent forth to make the world a better place. Out there we will find people who are worse off then we are. So we are sent forth to be healers. Nothing lifts up our spirits like knowing we have a purpose, that we are needed.
Yes, Assumption parish can hold up a sign that says, Come to us, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and we will refresh you. We will bring you to Christ.
It is good for us to be here.