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Tuesday 08/06/2021

Ordinary time week 10, Mt 5,13 -16

A New York teacher decided to honour her high school seniors by telling each them how they had made a difference to her and the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters which read, “Who I Am Makes a Difference.”

Afterwards the teacher wanted to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a community. She gave each student 3 more ribbons and instructed them to go and spread this acknowledgment ceremony. Then they were to discover who honoured whom and report back.

One senior went to a junior executive and honoured him for helping him with his career planning. He put a blue ribbon on his shirt then gave him two extra ribbons saying, “We’re doing a class project on recognition, and want you to find somebody to honour with a blue ribbon, then give the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a third person to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going. Then please report back and tell me what happened.”

Later the junior executive went to his boss who was a grouch. He told him he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The boss seemed very surprised. The junior executive then offered his boss a blue ribbon and placed it on his boss’s jacket above his heart. He then gave him the last ribbon asking him to honour someone else? He said “The young boy who gave me the ribbons is doing a project and wants to keep this recognition ceremony going and find out how it affects people.”

That night the boss came to his 14-year-old son and said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. One of the junior executives told me he admired me and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine. He thinks I’m a creative genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says ‘Who I Am Makes a Difference'” above my heart. He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honour. Thinking about whom I would honour with this ribbon, I want to honour you.”

Often, I come home and pay little attention to you. I shout at you for not getting good enough grades and your bedroom being a mess, but tonight, I want to let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You’re great and I love you!”

The startled boy started to sob and sob and couldn’t stop. He looked at his father and said through his tears, “I have been con

emplating suicide, Dad, because I didn’t think you loved me. Now I know you care.”

The boss went back to work a changed man. He was no longer a grouch but made sure to let all his employees know that they made a difference. The junior executive helped several other young people with career planning and never forgot to let them know they made a difference in his life. The young boy and his classmates learned a valuable lesson.

Who you are DOES make a difference – or, as Jesus says, you are salt and light!

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a


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