Once again, I am afraid I do not know the source of the following story but I was reminded of it by today’s First Reading: One day while walking down the street a highly successful person was tragically hit by a bus and she died. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Gates of Heaven by St. Peter himself.  “Welcome to Heaven.  What we are going to do is let you have a day in hell and a day in Heaven and then you choose where you want to go.” And with that He put the executive in an elevator and it went down to hell.  The doors opened and she found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course.  In the distance was the clubhouse and standing in front of here were all her friends—fellow executives that she had worked with and they were all dressed in evening gowns and cheering for her.  They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times.  They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the clubhouse where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner.  She met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy (kinda cute, as he always is) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing.  She was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave.  Everybody shook her hand and waved goodbye as she got on the elevator.  The elevator went way, way up back to Heaven and she spent the next 24 hours there.  She lounged around on clouds playing the harp and singing.  She had a great time and before she knew it her 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got her.  “So, now you must choose your eternity,” he said.  The woman paused for a second then replied, “Well, I never thought I’d say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in hell.” When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth.  She saw her friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks.  The Devil came up to her and put his arm around her.  “I don’t understand,” stammered the woman, “yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a clubhouse and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time.  Now all that’s here is a wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.” The Devil looked at her and smiled.  ‘Yesterday we were recruiting you, today...you’re staff.”  Wisdom is listening to whatever Jesus says, whether or not we can understand it and staying away from the Devil, no matter how attractive the spread he puts on for us might be.

AuthorCathy Remick