When the Nazis invaded Belgium during World War II, in one of the villages they took the men out of town and put them in line. To show their superiority over them the commander would start counting to 10. Every tenth man was shot in the head. There was a man who, counting a little faster than the Nazi and foreseeing his bad luck, fell on his knees begging for mercy for his children and his wife. The man next to him stepped forward and said to the commander: "Accept my life instead of his, I have no children." Everyone in the line knew who he was—the village priest, another Saint Maximilian Kolbe, less known. The commander looked with surprise at the two men and then something unexpected happened. Perhaps a ray of humanity illuminated the hardened heart of the commander or maybe he was moved by the desire not to make martyrs. We will never know his reasons, but the story tells us that the Nazi smiled and forgave both of their lives.
Years later, when the war was over and peace came, that lucky man never forgot to whom he owed his life. Every day he knocked at the priest's door to ask him, “What can I do for you today?” The priest had not only saved his life, but had been willing to give his own life for him. It was impossible to pay such a big favor, but it was fair that he tried.
Love is paid with love. Have you ever thought about what Jesus has done for you? Not only has He given you an earthly life. Giving his life for you on the cross He gave you Eternal Life. After such a huge favor, isn’t it fair that you go to Him each day in the tabernacle and ask Him, like the man in the story, "What can I do for you today?"
-Sr. Bernadette, S.H.M.