June 28 sermon of Monsignor Robert F. Tucker, St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield

RECEIVING

It has been stated, “Faith in our hearts becomes love in our words, in our hands, in our feet! It’s what the Holy Spirit intends and there is just no stopping it!” No wonder Jesus underlines the importance of receiving.  It is probably the most neglected virtue in our modern times. Yes, to quietly receive and not think or act like you have to repay or do anything just quietly receive love given!

After our months of separation from the Word of God, the Eucharist and Community, we need NOW just to receive and give THANKS!  Think of how different our world was in the past months, and how little things received meant so much and now let us not forget that gift of the pandemic!  We were not able to get to Mass but through the TV or internet, we could hear the Word and hopefully it helped us to receive love and share it in words, hands and feet! For us as Americans, we always prefer to be givers rather than receivers and yet perhaps the social distancing made us realize we have to receive internally and give internally.  This is not always easy for it comes from the heart and there is something about us that always wants to protect the heart.

In our first reading today from the Second Book of King, we hear of a woman and her husband who offer hospitality to the prophet Elisha.  Whenever Elisha comes to their city, they receive him, not only with a room but genuine love and hospitality.  They are highly praised by this prophet. Perhaps the two of them knew Psalm 89, and realized they had to act on the goodness of the Lord indeed and fact, “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”  St. Paul is a little more difficult on the ideal of receiving and states that if you are baptized in Christ you are to die to sin and live His love and thus gain eternal life. Jesus tells His apostles that each must take up his or her cross and by doing so will receive or be rewarded with everlasting life. As we end this month of June maybe try harder to be a good recipient of love from God and Neighbor.

Think of this story and put it into action in some small way in your own life.  In l927, a real estate and insurance agency failed. Stockholders were out several hundred thousand dollars. Mercer, the owner of the company vowed someday the stockholders would be repaid their losses. He tried for years but was not able to do so and he died. His son, however, never forgot the debt and knew somehow and someday he would repay it in the name and reputation of his dad.

Many years later the son deposited a check for over $300,000 in a bank to repay the stockholders or their families to fulfill his father’s promise. The son’s name was Johnny Mercer, a songwriter and singer, who earned the royalties to be able to pay off the debt from a popular song he wrote and sang, “ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE.”  Receive the positive in life, whether it be large or small and sing a positive note of joy, love and peace in these final days of June.