A PRIEST and a soap maker were out taking a walk. The soap maker said, "What good is religion? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world after thousands of years of teaching about goodness, truth, and peace - after all the prayers, sermons, and teachings."

The priest said nothing. They continued walking until they noticed a child playing in a muddy canal.

* * *

Then the priest said, "Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world, the child is still dirty. I wonder how soap is effective after all."

The soap maker got peeved and protested, "But Father, you ought to know that soap can't do any good unless it is used."

"Ah exactly," replied the priest. "So it is with Christianity, or any other religion, for that matter. It is ineffective unless it is used, unless the teachings are followed."

* * *

From the viewpoint of this world, when Christ came, He inaugurated this kingdom as a kingdom of justice, love, and peace. But He left us the task of completing it. That's why we say in the Lord's Prayer "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as in heaven."

* * *

We might compare God's kingdom to a plant. Jesus put the plant - the kingdom - in the soil. But He left to us the job of cultivating it, fertilizing it, and watering it.

Why is the realization of God's kingdom so slow? And why is Satan's kingdom so powerful and pervasive?

* * *

The answer is that we are not carrying our job as well as we should. We are not doing our task of completing the kingdom as well as we should be doing it.

Take just one example. How many of us live out God's commandments? "You shall not kill." "You shall not steal." "You shall not bear false witness." Why are there are so much lies, slander, killings, scams?

* * *

Our failure to live God's commands is the principal reason why the world is in a mess. So, if the kingdom of God is slow in coming, it's our own fault.

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. Religion is a very positive force which adds purpose to our daily lives. That's why churches have plus signs on top of their towers.

* * *

A poor man asks God, "God, what is a million years to You?" God replies, "My son, a million years to you is like a second to Me."

The man asks, "God, what is a million dollars to You?" God replies, "My son, a million dollars to you is a cent to Me."

The man asks, "So God, can I have a million dollars?" And God replies, "Wait a second." (That is, wait a million years!).

* * *

YOU'RE INVITED TO... a Pilgrimage to Switzerland and Eastern Europe on April 6-22, 2013 comprising Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Hungary.

For inquiries, call Broadway Travel Inc. at 465 United Nations Avenue, Manila (cf. tel. directory) or e-mail:

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