Life Is Not About Being Good At Something, It Is About Being Something Good

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God…

I was eight years old and dad was taking my two oldest brothers and me
into various stores at the Lincoln Mall and keeping us generally amused as mom
took care of the necessary shopping. We had just entered Caldor’s Department
store (kind of like a Target for those of you who don’t remember) when my
father stopped abruptly. We looked at him and followed his eyes to see a man,
exiting the store, clearly carrying something under his short green jacket. My
father approached an employee, “Excuse me,” he said, “I think that man may be

Royalty Free Clipart Image of a Boy Stealing Candy #493181 | iCLIPART for SchoolsThe employee scowled at my father and shrugged. The thief began to
quicken his pace, he was just to the entryway when my father whipped around
and stated, “Stay with your brothers.”
With that he took off after the thief. We watched, as they sprinted out of
the store and disappeared around the corner.
The employee stood next to us, even more shocked than my brothers and
I at the sudden action of my father. After a few moments, he returned, out of
breath. He hadn’t caught the thief, who’d left his car idling just outside the mall.
Dad seemed disappointed. “Sorry,” he said to the still stunned employee,
“There weren’t even plates on his car.”
For some time after I always imagined how cool it would have been if my
dad had caught the thief – I pictured him tackling the man just before they got
to the corner, the stolen item falling to the tile floor. I pictured the police
jogging in, stopping short in awe of my father’s skill, shaking his hand, and
congratulating him on his bravery. But my dad got no such reward. No
congratulations. No rescued stolen object. No glory.
It took me a while to realize that it didn’t matter that he failed to catch
the thief. What mattered was that he had the courage to chase him. For me, this
incident has come to represent an element of our faith that society seems to
have forgotten: doing what is right for the sake of doing what is right. You see,

many people would view my father’s actions as foolish, crazy, or even
dangerous. What if the thief had a weapon? What if he had cover or back up in
the car? My father took a major risk and he didn’t catch the thief. But that
shouldn’t matter.
It seems, ever more increasingly, people take action only if they know they
will get something out of it – be it victory, fame, or money. They do what is
safe, and what will yield the best personal outcome. But how often are we
willing to speak out, stand up, or take action knowing that we will most likely
fail? Do we stay silent when we think no one will listen? Do we not try because
odds are we won’t succeed? Or do we have courage to do what is right even
when there are no tangible results?

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As much as our culture will have you believe, life is not about being good
at something, it is about being something good. You will not always be
recognized for it by those who hand out medals, or rewards. But someone will
always see what you do. You see, if my dad hadn’t chased the thief that day he
never would have succeeded in passing an important lesson to the watching eyes
of his children. And for my father, that was the most important reward he could
Let us pray,
Heavenly Father, let us look to you as the ultimate example. What could seem to
us more of a failure than death? Yet through Jesus’ death, we know how we are
to live. We are to live in loving service to each other. We are to live without
seeking reward for ourselves. We are to live through humble example before the
watching eyes of future generations. We are to live with the courage to chase
Saint John Baptist de La Salle …Pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts… Forever


Mrs. Emily McLean, English Department Chair

June 2, 2021