Two workers at a construction site were asked the same question, “What are you doing here?” One answered, “I am digging a trench and will lay down bricks in it afterwards.” The other one said, “I am helping build a beautiful cathedral.” I have used this story in many a presentation and workshops. I would usually use it as a starting point for discussion, “Who of the two laborers do you think would be doing a better job?”
A difference in perspective can make a world of difference. For as a man thinks, so he acts. There is a more truth than a mere philosophical statement in the Cartesian dictum, “I think; therefore I am.”
I am right now imagining the difference in perspective between one who would kill because of what he believes and another who would be willing to die because of what he believes. I am thinking of James Foley and his executioner. James Foley died a martyr’s death, finding strength and solace in prayers, specially the rosary, during his captivity. I am thinking of the young children who are willing to die and refuse to give us their Christian faith. From the earliest times, the blood of martyrs have watered the seeds of faith.
We live in troubled times. The news carry mostly reports of war and violence in many places, natural calamities and disasters all over the globe, panic and greed in the marketplace, hunger and poverty even in the more affluent countries. We all seem to be living on the edge. What can I do?
I will be kinder and gentler so that there is less hatred and anger int he world. I will live simply so that others may simply live. I will multiply my joys and happiness by sharing what I have. I will share and give not only from what I have in excess but also from what I treasure and cherish for myself. I will add to the light and subtract from the darkness by counting my blessings and being constantly grateful. I will avoid all divisions and exclusions by being open and welcoming of others, specially those who are different from me. I will be a joyful witness to the Good News that I have received, proclaiming that goodness will overcome evil; that love is superior to hate; that light will prevail over darkness; that life is stronger than death.
Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.
Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah!
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,
and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”