Now I get it……

From Fr. Sherlock’s web page “Sherlocks Home”

There’s a story I heard one time that I shared at Mass today.  The readings were around “thin sowing meaning thin reaping” and the story is about a beggar sitting by a roadside.  He spent the day seeking charity and received very little.  At the end of the day, he sat saddened and alone.  Beside him was a small bowl of grain.  This was all he had.  As the day drew to a close a fancy carriage stopped beside him and the carriage door opened and a very wealthy looking man reached down to the beggar.  The beggar, expecting something reached up but was shocked to hear the wealthy man say: “You give me some of your grain.”  The man was shocked and angry and said that it was all he had but the man kept his hand stretched out.  The beggar, picking up his bowl, counted five grains into the hand of the man in the carriage.  Though the man kept his hand opened, the beggar man gave him no more.  He left the bowl down, the man pulled away his hand and the carriage moved on.  The beggar was furious.

That night, as he curled up to sleep, he noticed something glisten in the bowl.  The moonlight caught it and he was puzzled.  He reached into the bowl and took out the glistening piece to discover it was a grain sized piece of gold.  He emptied out the grain on the ground and rummaged through it.  He found four more grains of gold.

He looked into the distance – where the carriage had travelled and said to himself: “If only I’d known, I would have given him the lot.”


I hadn’t used that story for years and when thinking of it today, I was reminded of a wedding Mass I celebrated a few years ago.  I knew the bride from when she was a small child and she told me she remembered me telling this story more than twenty years ago.  She was maybe six or seven at the time and she said on her way home in the car with her parents, she remembered standing up in the back of the car and leaning in between her parents in the front seats, she said: “Now I get it!”  She told me it was the first time she realised that the more we are willing to give to God, the more he will give to us.

“Now I get it” …..