FR. TERRY RYAN, CSP
JOHN 2: 13-25
MARCH 4, 2018
I bought a new bed, but there was drama. Each year that I come to spend some time teaching and preaching in Vero Beach, Florida, I stay at our Paulist community home that we have here for senior priests. I stay in a room no one else really wants. It has no air, but during Lent the weather allows for me to make it livable. Anyhow, the room is always available, but it has a bed that is very old and has bothered me in the past. My first night here in the bed was dreadfully uncomfortable. I said, “This is unacceptable,” and told the community here that I was having trouble with this bed and we needed to buy a new one.
No one jumped at spending money for a new bed, but the priest in charge said, “Go to Sam’s.” I was hopeful that I would find a good bed there for a good price. Another Paulist priest went with me. It is good to have another opinion when buying a bed. Sam’s had only two mattresses for single bed. They were cheap, but dreadful. I would have been in back surgery before my time in Florida was done. So we went to a mattress store and found lots of mattresses, but way more $$$ than Sam’s. I did not find anything that was so right that I would buy it.
We went across the street to another mattress store. We found a mattress that was very nice but it would be ten days until delivery. Back surgery for sure. There was a second mattress that was “not as good” said the salesperson. It was cheaper and could be delivered in one day. As I sat deliberating, the Holy Spirit got involved in buying a mattress!
The salesperson came back and said, “I never have this third mattress in stock, but I happen to have one now.” I tried it> Perfect. He could deliver it in a day, and I would get “President’s Day” discount of several hundred dollars. The mattress and box spring cost $500+ and the Paulist I was with produced a credit card and we bought it. The mattress is wonderful, but the cost was several hundred dollars more than I think our house money manager was hoping to spend.
So at church I preached on this incident. Does it not speak of how Jesus acted? He came into the temple and said, “This just won’t do,” in so many words. I said this about my bed. Jesus wanted change and the people in charge liked things just the way they were. No one at the house wanted to spend money on a new mattress for a guest room. So if you think that something is “just not right,” then act to change it. If the Holy Spirit is with you, then you will know by how things go.
But here is the best part. I said in my homily, in passing, of course, that I hoped to find a way to pay the community for the bed. After mass as I was greeting people someone walked up to me and pressed some money into the palm of my hand. “This is for the bed,” he said. I put the money into my pocket. Later, I looked at the money. It was five One Hundred Dollar bills! Maybe I will stay in Florida!