Today is a day of backaches and sadness. I have a awful, terrible backache, and I'm feeling melancholy. Father Stephen Yim is leaving our parish for Immaculate Heart of Mary. In his goodbye speech during mass today, he told us three things:
1. He has been filled with love by our Christ The King congregation, and he wants to bring this love to IHM to share it.
2. He told us to please pray for him, and for ourselves, and for everybody and nobody and everything. He told us to remember to PUSH when we pray. To Pray Until Something Happens.
3. Then he told us that he'll miss us.
I think I'll miss him something awful too. His homily today was one I'll probably never forget until I'm old and stricken with 7 kinds of dementia. He told us about Balloons.
I reckon if ever I had to choose to be some inanimate object, I'd want to be a Balloon. But that is besides my point.
In today's homily, Father Yim told us two stories.The first went something like this:
"A little girl was at a fair with her mother and she saw a bunch of colourful helium balloons for sale. Her mom bought her a pretty balloon and she ran off with it, laughing and smiling. Then a soft gust of wind blew the string out of her hands, and the balloon floated up into the air.
The little girl, being little, did what all little girls would do in the same situation. She cried.
However, her mother did not do what other mothers would have most probably done (obviously to buy her another). Her mother told her little girl that the balloon had gone into the sky to have a reunion dinner, just like how they were going for theirs later on.
The little girl thought about this for a while, and then, she stopped crying."
The next story was also about balloons.
A balloon seller had a huge bunch of pretty, colourful and bright helium balloons in his hands. There was a crowd of little children around him. They were all extremely excited about the balloons and were watching them dance and bounce freely in the wind.
The balloon seller asked the children: Which color balloon do you like best?
The children yelled their most adored colours, PINK! yelled one. Blue said another. Green, and yellow and orange and red and purple, all the colours were eventually chosen by all the different little children.
Then, the balloon seller asked the children: Which balloon do you think will float up the quickest?
Each child yelled that their favorite colored balloon was sure to float the quickest.
The balloon seller then released all the balloons into the air. The sight was very beautiful, the sky filled up with different colors, and the children watched transfixed and amazed as the little round shapes disappeared from sight.
The balloon seller asked the children: Which colored balloon reached the top first?
None of the children knew. The balloon seller smiled, and told them the most profound truth they would ever hear: It doesn't matter what is on the outside, just like it didn't matter what color the fastest balloon was. It was what was inside the balloon that made it rise the fastest. Just like the balloon, our outsides have no impact on how quickly we rise to heaven. It is only the insides that matter.