Length of Sermon…..

I am your servant; give me understanding, so that I may know your teachings

(The Bible, Psalms 119:125).

One Sunday in Northern Minnesota, there was a terrible blizzard blowing. The pastor struggled through deep snow to the little town’s church where he found a congregation of one: a farmer in the front pew solemnly chewing gum.

“Well, farmer,” he said, “it is a terrible morning and there are only two of us. Shall we call it a day and get back to our firesides?”

“Well,” said the farmer, “I dunno. I only know about cattle. If I take a load of hay out to the field and only one comes, I still feed him.”

Stung by this rebuke, the pastor went through the whole Mass, choosing the longer scriptural texts, giving a homily of 40 minutes and using the longer Eucharistic Prayer.

Feeling rather pleased with himself, he again addressed his congregation: “Well, farmer, how did I do? Was that all right?”

There was a pause in the rhythmic chewing, “Well, I dunno,” the farmer said, “I only know about cattle. But if I take a load of hay out to feed them and only one comes, I don’t tip off the whole load.”


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