A rabbi was concerned for a young friend who was becoming worldly and materialistic.
The rabbi invited him into his study and led him to the window.
“What do you see?” he asked.
There was a playground next to the house. “I see children playing,” the young friend answered.
Then the rabbi took a little hand mirror out of his pocket and held it before the visitor’s face. “Tell me what you see now?”
“I see myself,” he said wondering what was going on.
“Isn’t it strange,” the rabbi asked, “that when a little silver gets between yourself and others, you see only yourself.”
Source: “Materialism” #20, in
Frank Mihalic, SVD
1000 Stories You Can Use, Vol 1
(Divine Word Publications, Manila, 1989)
- What is it in your life that tends to get in the way of seeing what is offered for you to see?
- What blinds you, or if not so sever, what is it that blocks your vision?
- And here’s one quotation to chew on: “Cataracts are the third biggest cause of blindness. Religion and politics are the first two.”
A hard-working and generous farmer lived with his three lazy, greedy sons. He was elderly, and just before he died, he called them to him and told them that their inheritance was buried in his fields, and that they would have to dig it up in order to receive it. No sooner than his spirit left him than his sons went out and tore apart the fields looking for the buried treasure. Having dug up the entire farm and found nothing, however, they began to wonder if it was a trick, and if their father, in his generosity, had already given all his money away to the poor. One of the sons said, “Well, we’ve already dug the fields, we might as well sow a crop to take advantage of it.” His brothers agreed, and they planted wheat in the fields, took in a good harvest, and sold it for a large sum.
After the harvest, the sons wondered if they might have just missed the treasure when digging for it, so they dug up the fields once again just in case; having found no treasure, they once again planted a crop and sold it. This continued for a few years, until the sons had at last become accustomed to the labor and realized the lesson that their father had left them with on their deathbed. They became honest and content, and lived their lives in peace.
Another shorter version:
Once upon a time there was a farmer who had three lazy sons. While he and his wife worked day and night to tend their vineyards the sons refused to lift a finger. On his deathbed the farmer told them that he had buried a treasure in the vineyard. The sons dug up every inch of the vineyard trying to find the pot of gold. After many years of searching, they never found the spot where the treasure was hidden. However, all of their digging cultivated the ground in the vineyard. Soon the grapevines produced such abundant fruit that the three lazy sons grew wealthy, unwittingly, from their own hard work.
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- There is not such thing as a fruitful harvest without the sweat of sowing and planting.