Below is the written text for Deacon Pat Hessel’s homily at Holy Trinity Parish on the weekend of August 6-7, 2016 – on our motivation for living our life of faith.
Some people speak about reward and punishment in terms of “the carrot and the stick.” They talk about it in relation to motivating people. It comes from the image of a person sitting on a cart pulled by a mule. The driver dangles a carrot in front of the mule. The mule wants the carrot, so it moves forward. But the driver also holds a stick, and if the mule stops or doesn’t move fast enough, the driver hits the mule with the stick. In the business world, carrots and sticks are used all the time to encourage productivity. The top salesperson might get a special bonus at the end of the month – a carrot. On the other hand, the worker who doesn’t perform well or who misses work often, risks being fired – a stick.
Many of us view our faith life in terms of carrots and sticks. Our ultimate carrot is, of course, heaven, and our ultimate stick is hell. Carrots and sticks sound manipulative, but they work. “If you get your homework done before supper, you can have ice cream for dessert.” “If you don’t do your chores, you’re going to lose your telephone for two days.” All of us as parents have used carrots and sticks with our kids. They work – most of the time. [Read more…]