THE LAMB CATHOLIC WORKER, Columbus - Our dearly, dearly loved Fr. David Schalk gave a moving homily today at Christ the King Church mentioning "The Lumber Song." The Gospel today is about not storing up treasures for yourself - even though this is what we all tend to do these days here in America (Luke 12:13-21). It was the parable of the rich man who could never be satisfied with the wealth he had and so, wanted to build better and bigger barns to store even greater wealth. He then planned to sit back, and take selfish pleasure in his accomplishments by resting, eating, drinking, and "being merry." This parable was introduced by the first reading today: "... seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Seek what is above, not of what is on earth" (Colossians 3:1-5).
Fr. Schalk told the story of a similar man who died and went to heaven. He was taken to where he would spend his eternity, passing beautiful mansions along the way. Finally, they stopped at a small shack, which was where he would be for eternity. He asked, "But why? How could they be so different?" St. Peter said, "Every good deed, selfless act, gift to the poor, giving of time to build the Kingdom on Earth - these all were their lumber for their houses. Looks like this is all you have."
It reminds also of the Gospel: "Do not store up riches on this earth that moths and rust can destroy, but store up treasures in heaven..." and "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." How much more Catholic Worker can you possibly get! Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin are celebrating in heaven this homily and this song!
The Lumber Song lyrics (by "Eli")
Said a friend to a friend one day,
Was a man who passed away
St. Peter met him at the gate
Pete said: "Walk with me if you will
I'll take you to the house you built"
Man said: "I can't wait!"
Passed a mansion made of stone
But with each new house he's shown
They get smaller by degrees
Stopped in front of a two room shack
Pete said hope you're happy with that
Man said: "How can this be?"
That's all the lumber--that's all the lumber
that's all the lumber you sent
Looks like the builder--man he's got your number
That's all the lumber you sent
Man didn't know what to say
poor guy was blown away
Said: "you mean this is what I deserve?"
Pete said: "I'm afraid it's so
It's too late but now you know
Shoulda done better work"
Said: You mean not lie and cheat
and helpin' old ladies across the street?
Pete says: Well, that's a start
Remember that man back in that great big house?
He found out early what it's all about
Built that place with his heart--as for you (chorus)
What if that man was me
And I failed that miserably
You're showin' me things I don't wanna see
St. Peter if you can
Send me back to earth again
Is that somethin' you can do?
Pete said: It ain't up to me
If it was I'd like to see
How you plan to improve
Said: I'd love God and fellow man
Take a wife and make a stand
Be the givinest guy I can be
And when I get back to this neighborhood
There'd be a big gigantic pile of wood
And I'd say: What's this I see?--You'd tell me (chorus2x)