Friday 11 June 2010

The biscuit thief

I came across this wonderful story (Source: Brett Blair) while preparing a sermon for Sunday next (2nd after Trinity) - Incidentally I will now not be preaching this Sunday as our son Aaron is participating in the Special Olympics Ireland National Games and my Parish Readers (Lay liturgical leaders) are covering me so that I can be with my wife cheering him on trackside. The Gospel for the day which inspires the story is Luke 7:6-8:3

The Biscuit Thief
A woman at the airport waiting to catch her flight bought herself a packet of biscuits, settled in a chair in the airport lounge and began to read her book. Suddenly she noticed the man beside her helping himself to her biscuits. Not wanting to make a scene, she read on, ate biscuit, and watched the clock. As the daring " biscuit thief" kept on eating the biscuits she got more irritated and said to herself, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd give him a slap!" She wanted to move the biscuits to her other side but she couldn’t bring her self to do it. With each biscuit she took, he took one too. When only one was left, she wondered what he would do. Then with a smile on his face and a nervous laugh, he took the last biscuit and broke it in half.
He offered her half, and he ate the other. She snatched it from him and thought, " this guy has some nerve, and he's also so rude, why, he didn't even show any gratitude!" She sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate, refusing to look at the ungrateful "thief." She boarded the plane and sank in her seat, reached in her bag to get a book to read and forget about the incident. Next to her book was her bag—of biscuits.
The biscuits they ate in the lounge were his not hers. She had been the thief not him.
The biscuit thief story reminds us, as we see in today's gospel, that it often happens that the one pointing the accusing finger turns out to be the guilty one, that the complainant sometimes turns out to be the offending party. In the biscuit story, the woman believed she was such a wonderful person to put up with the rudeness and ingratitude of the man sitting beside her. In the end she discovered that she was the rude and ungrateful one and the man was wonderfully friendly. In the gospel the Pharisee thinks he is the righteous one who is worthy to be in the company of Jesus and that the woman was the sinful one unworthy to be seen with Jesus. In the end Jesus showed each of them where they really belonged and the woman was seen as the one who was righteous and more deserving of the company of Jesus than the self-righteous Pharisee.

6 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Stephen, what a wonderful story. I so much see myself in the lady biscuit thief, but if I told the story, the box would contain cookies. Two peoples divided by a common language....

Stephen Neill said...

Ha Ha - It was cookies - I translated it already - Doctrine of double translation ;)

Grandmère Mimi said...

Well now, who's the thief here?

Grannymar said...

I hope Aaron does well and enjoys the adventure at the the Special Olympics Ireland National Games.

I heard that story set in several different situations but it always serves to teach a good lesson.

Stephen Neill said...

Silver medal in Shotput today :)

Grandmère Mimi said...

Stephen, tell Aaron, "Congratulations!" from an old lady in south Louisiana in the USA.