Readings: Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 21:12-16 & Matthew 21:23-27
“THERE ONCE WAS A MAN WHO suffered from various illnesses for a very long time. This man had seen countless doctors who over the years had performed countless tests on him and had prescribed lots of medicine. But, the man’s condition did not improve. This man even tried home remedies to make himself feel better. He drank herbal teas, and took mega-doses of vitamins along with his prescriptions. But still he did not feel any better. Then one day the man heard about a doctor who was said to be an outstanding diagnostician. So the man called the doctor to make an appointment. And even though the doctor was booked for months in advance the man was delighted when the receptionist managed to fit him in. As the date of his appointment drew near the man was excited by the prospect of finally getting to the bottom of his problem. At last, he would find out just what was wrong with him and in no time he was sure that this brilliant doctor whose praises were sung by one and all, this doctor would be able to cure him. The day of the appointment arrived. After the doctor had thoroughly examined the man and had reviewed his tests, she sat down with him and she said, “My friend, you are not a healthy man. But you can be well again if you will only follow my advice. What you need to do is lose about sixty pounds, get involved in a regular program of exercise, and eat more grain, fruit, and vegetables. You don’t need to take any more of the medicine that has been prescribed for you and you don’t need all those vitamin pills.” When the man heard this, he was indignant. He demanded that the doctor prescribe some new medicine for him, possibly some experimental drug not yet on the market, which would cure his illness. The doctor smiled patiently and repeated her advice. “You don’t need medicine,” she said. “You need to change your lifestyle.” The man simply cursed the doctor and stomped out of the office. For the rest of his sickly life, he told everyone that she was a quack who didn’t deserve to be called a doctor.
ONCE THERE WAS A WOMAN WHO was in serious trouble with the law. This woman had run up all sorts of debts, and in desperation she had embezzled some money from the company where she worked. The Company found out and was now pressing charges against her. The woman was beside herself with worry. She didn’t know where to turn until a friend of hers told her of an outstanding defense attorney who seldom lost a case. The woman called the lawyer immediately, and he agreed to see her. She was delighted and relieved. “At last,” she said to herself, “I have a lawyer who will get all these charges dropped. Then I’ll be able to get on with my life.” But when she saw the attorney and explained her situation to him, he shook his head and said, “What you did was wrong, and you may have to spend some time in prison. After you’re released, you’ll need to get into an ongoing program to pay off your debts. You’ll need to get a steady job and repay the company the money that you stole. If you do all this, you may be able to get your life back together again. The woman was outraged at the attorney. She expressed her dismay in no uncertain terms, “I don’t need you to give me a lecture, I need you to defend me against these charges and get them dropped. And with that she dismissed the lawyer, bad mouthed him all over town and resumed her search for an attorney who would do for her just exactly what she wanted. Continue reading