There is an old Middle Eastern story about Jesus and his visit to a certain village. Jesus and the apostles had been walking for days preaching, healing, reconciling and comforting. They arrived at about midday, a time when people generally rested because of the heat of the day.

Jesus noticed a group of people assembled in the corner of the village square. He sent the apostles away to seek a place to stay and to arrange a meal. (He possibly needed a break from them too!)

He went over to the group and pushed his way to the front as he usually did. The people were all stooped over, looking at a dead dog.

They were condemning the dog with their comments to one another even though they knew nothing of the dog’s past.  The dog’s tail had been ripped off; its ears were torn; it’s coat was matted with blood and wounds and two of its legs were broken. Some people poked it with their sandalled feet – some poked it with sticks. There was not a good word to be said for it.

Jesus opened its mouth and said, ‘but hasn’t it got beautiful teeth!’

As I get older (and more unwell) it strikes me that time is passing very quickly and soon the Lord Jesus will look upon me in death. It is my “joyful hope” that when he does look upon me he will see what is beautiful in me because he knows my past and has a place for me in his future. “In the eventide of life, we shall be judged on love.”  (St. John of the Cross)

Kevin Tuitu’u, C.P.  Member of the Marrickville Community.