Paid For - Twice Over
by Fr. Jack McArdle with Aneel Aranha
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
There was once a young lad who was reared by the sea. He spent most of his time paddling around in boats or mingling with the fishermen at the pier. One day he found a piece of timber, and he found himself inspired to carve a toy boat out of it. After a lot of hard work, his boat was almost ready. He put some sails on it, and then to finish the job, he gave the boat a name, which he painted on both sides.
One afternoon he brought it down to the pier and placed it gently in the water. He was filled with pride and joy at the sight of it bobbing up and down in the water. Then suddenly, the sails (free-will?) came under the influence of a firm breeze and drifted beyond his reach. Without thinking, he called out to it, because he had given it a name, but the boat moved out to sea and all the boy could was look on helplessly. He stood there for ages, hoping for a miracle, but eventually he gave up, and returned home with a heavy heart.
A few weeks later, as the boy was wandering around town with his heart still heavy he passed by a toy shop and to his sheer amazement he saw his boat through the store window. He ran in to claim it, but the shop-keeper left him in no doubt that the boat was his now. If the boy wanted it, he would have to buy it, like any other item in the shop. Deeply troubled, the boy ran home and narrated the story to his father.
The father listened attentively before he said: "You have a choice, son. If you want the boat, you will just have to pay for it, because it does belongs to the shopkeeper now."
"How much will it cost me?" asked the boy.
"I don't know," replied his dad, "but I do know that if you want it bad enough, you should be prepared to pay everything you have."
The boy gathered every penny he could find and ran down to the shop. The shopkeeper checked that the money was right, and then handed over the boat. The boy rubbed it, kissed it, and clutched it with both hands, as he ran all the way home to his dad.
"Ah, I see you got the boat. It's yours now, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is", said the boy excitedly, "It's mine now, and it's mine twice over. I made it, and, when I lost it, I gave everything I have to get it back. I won't let it go this time."
The boy in the story is Jesus, and you are the boat. He created you, and when you were lost he gave all he had to buy you back, so you are his now - twice over.
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