Here's a funny story Father Mike told this morning:
A woman had four sons, each a year apart. They graduated from high school one after the other, and they entered and graduated from collage one after the other. All four were very successful in their careers, and their mother was extremely proud.
The years flew by, the four better better off as each year passed. One holiday season, they decided to give their mother a present. She wasn't getting any younger, they knew, so it couldn't be just any present. They gathered together to decide their presents.
The first son said, "I know just what to give her. Mom always had that small apartment to live in, so I'll build her a mansion! Two floors plus an attic and a decent yard; that ought to please her."
The others agreed. That was a marvelous gift, mother would surely be living in luxury.
The second son declared, "Mom was always going to the movie rental, and she loves music. I know what I'll do, I'll get her a massive entertainment system. Complete with quality surround sound, flat screens, and fifty comfortable seats!"
The others liked that idea too.
The third had to think a little harder, the first twosome's ideas being grand and all. Finally he snapped his fingers. "I know! Mom's got this really old and rusty car, so I'll get her a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550. She won't have to walk a mile to the store any longer."
The others nodded, no more work for Mom.
Lastly, they turned to the youngest. He thought, and he thought, but he couldn't match the other's gifts. "Give me a week, I'll find something."
They waited a week while the youngest searched for the perfect present for Mom.
They gathered yet again, and this time the youngest had a gift in hand.
"I asked a preacher, 'cause Mom always reads the Bible," The others nodded at this, Mom sure loved each word in that book, "So I found a parrot that memorized the entire Bible. You give him a chapter and verse, and he'll tell it to you. Cost me 20,000 dollars a month for 20 years to buy him from the parish, but Mom's worth it!"
The others grinned, and when the time was right, they presented their gifts to mother.
Months past, and each received a letter, it was from Mom.
The first son's letter said, "Dear son, thank you for the enormous house. I only live in one room. I have to clean the rest of it. Thank you anyway, Mom."
The second son's letter read, "Dear son, thank you for your gift, but I can't hear too well, and my eyes can't see very far. There are fifty seats here in this entertainment room, but all my friends are dead and gone! Thank you anyway, Mom."
The third son's letter wrote, "Dear son, your gift is lovely, but I can no longer drive, and all my meals and groceries are delivered. Don't worry, it's still a nice car. Thank you anyway, Mom."
Finally the last son's letter said, "Dear son, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you for your gift! It was so wonderful. I couldn't imagine a better one, so thank you. The chicken was delicious! Thanks, Mom."