The Perfect Pair of Sandals

A fashionable lady entered a footwear store in search of a pair of new sandals.  She tried every sample available in the store, but none of them seemed to suit her feet. Disappointed, she was about to leave the store when she noticed a pair lying near the entrance. She put them on and was delighted to find that the pair suited her perfectly. She enquired about its price. The manager told her, “It is free. You can use them.” The lady was surprised and asked, “Why?” The manager said, “That was the pair you had on your feet when you came in. You removed them to try the new sandals.”

We may be in a similar situation, worrying about our present difficulties or embarrassing situations; we see ‘better’ options elsewhere. It seems to be human nature, not being satisfied with what one has or what one is doing. We are always looking for something different. For instance, we may feel that we should have received a more rewarding job, a more comfortable house, a more beautiful spouse, a church more to our liking etc. Let us realize that God has given each of us the best gifts that suit us most. Let us thank God for the blessings received.

A visible phenomenon that we encounter today in our Catholic churches is that few people own responsibility of their parish church. In olden days, the people who lived in a town, raised funds and built the church; they were proud of saying, “We built our church and we support our church.” It means to say that not only did they support their church financially, but they also attended the church and drew spiritual strength from that church.
These days we don’t find that kind of ownership - commitment in the practice of faith. The Mass attendance has declined terribly. Some are comfortable going to crowded places like Walmart, restaurants on the weekends and vacationing at hot spots like Florida, but avoid church with a reason, ‘I want to be away from the people.’ Some people’s pattern of thinking is: ‘I register myself in a church (some don’t do that), but I attend a church to my liking and convenience – I go where I want to go.’ In addition, the pandemic is to be blamed to a large extent.

Just like the woman who tried many sandals and finally found her own sandals as the perfect pair, one may go here and there, but finally one has to come back to God and his Church. Because man’s final destination is God and his Church.
In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church