Many years ago, there lived a man
who was capable of loving and forgiving everyone he came across.
Because of this, God sent an angel to talk to him.
‘God asked me to come and visit you and tell you
that God wishes to reward you for your goodness,’ said the angel.
‘You may have any gift you wish for. Would you like the gift of healing?’
‘Certainly not,’ said the man.
‘I would prefer God to choose those who should be healed.’
‘And what about leading sinners back to the path of Truth?’
‘That’s a job for angels like you.
I don’t want to be venerated by anyone
or to serve as a permanent example.’
‘Look, I can’t go back to Heaven without having given you a miracle.
If you don’t choose, I’ll have to choose one for you.’
The man thought for a moment and then said:
‘All right, I would like good to be done through me,
but without anyone noticing, not even me,
in case I should commit the sin of vanity.’
So the angel arranged for the man’s shadow to have the power of healing,
but only when the sun was shining on the man’s face.
In this way, wherever he went, the sick were healed,
the earth grew fertile again, and sad people rediscovered happiness.
The man traveled the Earth for many years,
oblivious of the miracles he was working because
when he was facing the sun, his shadow was always behind him.
In this way, he was able to live and die unaware of his own holiness.
What Jesus Said on the Subject:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;
a otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
[PHOTO by liorenzi courtesy of Wikkimedia Commoms. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
[Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.]