A Good Kid (Twenty-sixth Ordinary)

The rich man said, “Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment”. Abraham answered, “They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them”. “I know, Father Abraham,” he said, “but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways”. Abraham replied, “If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead”. (Luke 16: 27 – 31)

I was honoured to be asked to be Kevin’s godfather. His parents are long-time friends of the sort that feel like family. And on the day of his Baptism, I listened carefully when the priest asked, “And what do you ask for this child?”

We want Baptism, of course. But what all did that entail? And what would it mean in his life? I wanted to take my role as godparent seriously, but beyond sending birthday cards and Christmas presents and taking an interest in his life from a distance, I still didn’t know him that well.

And so I was delighted when our families joined up for an outing to the city to enjoy the fireworks display. Standing in the throngs of people was a dishevelled man with the look of someone who’d spent many days and nights on the street. He was getting jostled and looked forlorn holding his paper cup, asking for spare change.

Kevin, about 10, noticed the man. He dug into his blue jeans for some money. He looked the man in the eyes as he placed the money in his cup. He said, “Hi”. I smiled and thought about that day the priest asked what we wanted for this child. I knew then we’d gotten what we came for. This Sunday’s gospel warns us what happens to those who have a hard heart when it comes to others. Kevin is blessed with a heart full of love.

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