Four brothers left home for college and they each became financially well off. Some years later, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who lived far away in another city. The first brother said, “I had a big house built for Mama.” The second said, “I had a hundred thousand dollar theater built in the house.” The third said, “I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her.” Finally, the fourth said, “You know how Mamma loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read anymore because she can’t see very well. I spent $100,000 on a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. Mamma just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it.” The other brothers were impressed. After the holidays Mom sent out her thank-you notes. She wrote: “Milton, the house you built is so huge I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.” “Michael, the home theater could hold fifty people, but all of my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture, just the same.” “Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks.” “Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you!”
About Joe Paprocki 2702 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.