There was once a woman who wanted peace in the world and peace in her heart. But she was very frustrated– the world seemed to be falling apart. She would read the papers and get depressed.

One day she decided to go shopping and picked a store at random. She walked into the store and was surprised to see Jesus behind the counter. She knew it was Jesus, because he looked just like the pictures she’d seen on holy cards and in devotional paintings.

At last, she got up her nerve and asked, “Excuse me, are you Jesus?”

“I am.”

“Do you work here?”

“No,” Jesus said, “I own the store.”

“What do you sell?”

“Oh, just about anything! Feel free to walk up and down the aisles, make a list of things you want, and when you come back, and I will see what I can do for you.”

The lady walked up and down the aisles and saw all sorts of things she wanted: peace on earth, no more war, no hunger or poverty, peace in families, no more drugs, clean air, and careful use of resources. She made a list of the things she wanted. By the time she got back to the counter, Jesus read through the list, looked at her and smiled. “No problem,” he said. Then he bent down behind the counter and picked up a number of small packets.

“What are these?” she asked. “Seed packets,” Jesus replied. “This is a catalogue store.” In surprise, she said: “You mean I don’t get the finished product?” “No,” he answered. “This is a place of dreams. When you choose what you want, I give you the seeds. You plant the seeds and watch them grow.

There is one catch, however: you will not receive the benefit of your good work — others will.”

“Oh,” she said with disappointment. “Then I’m not interested.” And she left the store without buying anything.

Today’s Gospel instructs us to bury ourselves in the soil of life by selflessly and sacrificially spending our lives for the temporal and spiritual welfare of others just as Jesus did.

Fr. Joseph Dovari