Sermon on the Exam Table

The following dramatic sketch can be used as a lead-in to a homily or sermon on the Sunday readings.

Sunday Readings: Cycle A, 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[In the opening scene, the main character, Fred, is sitting on an exam table (you can use a chair) talking to his doctor. The Doctor (wearing a white coat and stethoscope) just finished examining Fred and is giving his recommendations.]

 

Doctor: “Fred, you know we’ve gone over some of these

things before, but I want to make sure you really

understand.”

Fred: “You can save your breath doc. I’ve heard it all

before. Don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t eat stuff that

tastes good, and don’t have any fun.”

Doctor: “Fred, I think you’re missing the point. I’m not trying

to be a medical killjoy. I want you to feel good, to

have a good marriage and family life, and to be

able to do the things you enjoy, like playing golf.

Being healthy is more than NOT consuming toxic

substances like tobacco smoke and drugs, NOT

eating high calorie foods and trans-fats, and NOT

having relationships with women you’re not married to.

It’s eating healthy foods, exercising, and building

the right kind of relationships with your wife and your

family.”

Fred: “You doctors are always trying to tell us what to do.

You don’t control me, and I’m gonna do what I

want.”

Doctor: “Fred, your health is always your decision, not mine.

I just want to let you know that if you change your

mind, I’m here to help.”

 

Narrator: The worst comes to pass. Fred loses his job, gets

divorced, becomes estranged from his kids,

gets lung cancer, and now he’s in the hospital

dying after experiencing a massive heart attack.

 

[Scene: Fred is laying down and the Doctor is standing at his side.]

 

Fred: “I guess I should have listened to you, huh, doc?”

Doctor: “I didn’t come here to tell you ‘I told you so,” Fred.

I’m just sad to see how things turned out.”

Fred: “Yeah. You and me both.”

Doctor: “You can’t change the misery you caused, but you

still have one last chance to turn your life around.”

Fred: “What do you mean?”

Doctor: “God cares about you and loves you, even if

you’ve done it all wrong. Why don’t you turn to

him, ask his forgiveness, believe in Jesus as God’s

Son who loves you, and let him be your Lord and

Savior.”

Fred: “Isn’t that phony to act the way I did and then at the

last minute claim a ‘Get-Out-of-Jail-Free’ card?”

Doctor: “It’s only phony if you don’t mean it.”

Fred: “OK, doc. I’m a little late, but I think I’ll take your

advice this time.”

Doctor: “Fred, I am so glad. I’ll get Fr. [name of celebrant].

But first, let’s pray.”

 

[The scene closes with the doctor placing his hand on Fred’s shoulder and the two men bowing their heads in prayer.]

Commentary:

God’s commandments are not just prohibitions passed down from an oppressive God or by an anal-retentive religious tradition. They were given to us for our health and well-being. Just as a physician will give advice about what not to do, he also should tell you how to live better for your mental and physical health. That’s what Jesus did during his Sermon on the Mount. Most people will readily accept the advice of a physician and yet are resistant to what Jesus tells us. It’s not the wisdom of this age, but it’s God’s wisdom, which is a wisdom that gives Life in abundance.

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