Two tales

AS the holiest days of the Holy Week approach, I am recounting two tales we can reflect on. One tale is spiritual, and the other one, temporal in nature.

First is the story of The Son.

A wealthy man and his only son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso, Da Vinci, Van Goghs, Rembrandts to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while securing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

A month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door.

A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said: “Sir, you don’t know me, but, I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and while he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. Your son often talked about you, and your love for art.”

The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this,” the young man said.

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting.

The father was so drawn to the eyes of the son that his eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young soldier and offered to pay him for the portrait. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me that day,” the young man said. He added: “It’s a gift.”

The father hung the portrait of the son over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home, he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works of art he had collected.

The father died a few months later.

There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many rich and influential people gathered, excited about seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their own collection. 

On the platform sat the portrait of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel, and said: “We will start the bidding with portrait of the son. Who will bid for this painting?”

There was silence. Then a voice at the back of the room shouted. “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But, the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this portrait? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?” 

Another voice shouted angrily. “We didn’t come to see this portrait. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids.”

Still the auctioneer continued: “The son! The son!Won’t anybody take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. 

It was the long-time gardener of the father and the son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. “We have $10, who will bid $20?” Give it to him for $10, we want to see the masters, the people shouted. “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” the auctioneer asked once more.

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the painting of the son. They wanted the worthy investments for their own collections. The auctioneer finally pounded the gavel, and said: “Going once, twice. SOLD for $10!” the auctioneer asked once more.

The auctioneer laid down his gavel, and said: “I’m sorry, the auction is over. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will of the father. I was not allowed to reveal the stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the SON would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings of the masters. THE MAN WHO TAKES THE SON GETS EVERYTHING.”

With this thought to reflect on, we should not forget that God gave his son, Jesus Christ to mankind some 2,000 years ago, only to die on a cruel cross for our salvation. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “THE SON, THE SON, WHO’LL TAKE THE SON?”

* * *

The second tale is about a man who chose hell instead of heaven. Much like now when we are given the choice on who will lead this nation for the next six years.

It’s a choice among four: one who wants us to tread the straight path, which is actually a road to perdition; another, a neophyte as a legislator, but with a burning ambition to become president, using her adoptive father’s name, thinking people are so stupid that they cannot see the difference between real and  reel. This is a candidate with questionable citizenship, having abjured Filipino citizenship to become an American.

There’s also this self-confessed killer and womanizer who takes us for idiots to believe he can solve criminality, the illegal drugs problem and corruption.

And there’s the candidate with unquestionable credentials in governance, but who has been accused of corruption, but has not been convicted by a court of law. 

Whom shall we choose?

The tale goes:

A man died and found himself at the pearly gates of heaven with St. Peter holding the keys. St. Peter told the man that before he could enter Heaven, he could still choose between Heaven and Hell. “I want to see Hell first,” the man said, and St. Peter told him to take the elevator.

Down, down the elevator went. As the door opened, a pretty girl in bikini met him, and said, “Sir, welcome to Hell.”

As the man was accompanied by a bevy of beautiful women in bikinis, he saw Hell so different from what he was told. Naked woman cavorting with naked men, and there were feasts everywhere. The man also saw many of his friends  all laughing and smiling like they enjoyed Hell.

The man told his escorts: “I want to see St. Peter.” So, up he went on the elevator, and told St. Peter that he also wanted to see Heaven. So, St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and the man was accompanied by an angel to tour the place. 

Everything was so peaceful. There were angels everywhere. The man was bored. 

Thus, when the man went back to the Pearly Gates, he told St. Peter, “I choose Hell.” 

When the door opened, he saw Satan laughing and smiling at him. They took his hand and led him all over Hell where he heard moans. Even his friends were being tortured. He also saw utter desolation.

“What happened?” he asked Satan. When I was here yesterday, everything was different. “Well,” Satan with maniacal laughter said: “Yesterday we were campaigning, but today you voted. Welcome to Hell.”

I wish all a Blessed Easter Sunday, the biggest and holiest event in Christendom!

Just remember, if there is no Good Friday, there would be no Easter Sunday!

Topics: Two tales , holyweek 2016

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