Monday, May 9, 2011

A Steep Price

A gourmet chef in England has created the world’s most expensive sandwich.

It is a double-decker made of cheddar cheese blended with white truffles. Joining the planks of cheese between three slices of premium sour dough bread are quail eggs, fresh figs and 100 year old balsamic vinaigrette topped off with a sprinkling of edible gold dust.

The price tag - a whopping $220!

Now imagine that one day you just happened to be paying a visit to that restaurant with a couple hundred dollars to spend. Curious to find out just what a $220 cheese sandwich tastes like, you decide to order it. As the plate comes out, the whole restaurant quiets to a hush. A crowd gathers to witness your reaction to the expensive dish.

You take the sandwich into your hands, sink your teeth into it and draw the first bite into your mouth expecting an explosion of flavor and savory delights.

Instead, you find the sandwich bland and flat.

Disappointed, you call the waiter over.

“What is wrong?” he asks. “Is the bread stale? Was the cheese moldy? Was there a fly in the vinaigrette?”

You reply that there is nothing wrong with the sandwich at all. It just does not taste as good as a $220 sandwich should. You explain that if you are going to spend all that money on a sandwich, it should be phenomenal, not just okay. And no doubt everyone in the restaurant will agree with you.

In last Sunday’s second reading, Saint Peter told us: “Realize that you were delivered from the futile way of life your fathers handed on to you, not by any diminishable sum of silver and gold but by Christ’s blood beyond all price: the blood of a spotless, unblemished lamb....” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Jesus paid a steep price to buy us back from the bondage of sin. He gave His very life. Since He purchased us at such a high price, He expects us to be good. It is not enough for us to be nice. It is not enough for us to not hurt anyone. We must be genuinely good, holy as He is holy and perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

We would have strong words for the chef who dared to serve us a $220 sandwich which was anything less than spectacular. Jesus likewise has strong words for any of His followers redeemed by His blood who fail to catch on fire with His love: “I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold....So, because you are lukewarm....I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelations 3: 15-16).

Therefore, since we have been purchased at such a high price - the blood of Jesus Himself - let s live up to our dignity as adopted sons and daughters of God. Let us show forth genuine oodness and saintly holiness in all our words and actions. Let us be worthy of the God who calls us and who redeemed us through the blood of His Son.

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