Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Latter Went Home Justified

The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector. Luke 18:11

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14

It was my first day back to work after a relaxing ten day stay in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, our mountain house as I like to refer to it. My desk was piled high with mail, billing, reports, insurance requests and contract files that had to be gone through. I spent the morning sorting out my work by its highest level of importance and by the time the lunch hour came along, I was more than ready for a well deserved break.

There are a few antique shops in the old downtown district of Pomona that I like to wander through and I had some particular items in mind for the mountain house, so I headed over in that direction.

While browsing in this one particular shop, I found a beautiful bronze earthen pitcher that I thought would look nice up at the house, so I picked it up and headed toward the cash register.

Just then a solicitor, poorly clad, walked in with a large box. He told the man and woman behind the register that he had some items that he thought they might be interested in and invited them to take a look. The man rudely dismissed the solicitor, telling him there was a sign posted outside that stated that they never buy items from walk-ins, then added, “Didn’t you read it!” The solicitor, very politely apologized for his mistake, said goodbye and left.
For some reason, the man standing behind the register wasn’t satisfied that the solicitor had left without incident; he continued the conversation with the woman next to him, as if I wasn’t even there. “The illiterate piece of trash probably couldn’t read”, he said. Then, they both look at me and smiled asking me if I was ready with my purchase. “You know”, I said as I looked at the man, “I think I just changed my mind, you aren’t very nice.” With that I handed him the earthen pitcher, bid them both a good day and left their shop.

My heart hurt for the solicitor. I work in a poor area of Pomona, in fact my business in down the street from the local recycle center so I see many people day in and day out pushing their shopping carts and wagons with their cardboard, aluminum cans and bottles piled high. There are many others that stand on street corners selling fruit, flowers or ice cream. Once a lady came into my shop and sold me some fresh banana bread. They work hard everyday doing jobs many of us would not want to do. I have a lot of respect for these hard working men and women.Please remember them in your prayers.

In a world divided. let us pray for the Spirit of peace:

God of peace, make peace among those at war,
God of justice, make right what we have made wrong,
God of goodness, make holy what we have turned to our own selfish endsIntercessions from Missal


the booklady said...

God bless you for speaking up for that poor voiceless man! There is so much unnecessary unkindness. I hope and pray that your words were a reminder to that shopowner and customer of their actions.

In truth, you took the part of Our Lord ... for it was actually Him in the disguise of a poorly clad solicitor.

No act of kindness is ever wasted, is ever too small.

kam said...

Such a sad tale you tell today, but oh so true everywhere. Your small interaction is the story of our times. And like the booklady said, there was Jesus right before you. Saint Joseph The Worker, Pray for the downtrodden people of the world who eck out a small, meager living wherever they can. Peace to you. k

Anonymous said...

Yeah Lissaa! The Holy Spirit is at work once again!