Are not five sparrows sold for a few coins?

Friday, 10/20/17

Jesus asked, "Are not five sparrows sold for a few coins?"

That lets me cheat on writing a homily. I'll just recall a day when I saw a man with sparrows up for sale. In former times Korea and China recalled their family's dead ones by staging a strange banquet once a year.

With the whole family gathered, they would lay out a banquet of precious dishes meant to tempt the appetites of those departed ones. The precious little sparrows would be typical of the "dishes."

After the guests had given the souls of their departed three hours to feast on the essence of those dishes, they would dive in themselves.

One day in Korea I was stuck for hours with the crowd standing on a bus. The way I was wedged in, my attention was fixed on a little man who had a seat for himself.

He had a pair of sparrows held out at arms length. Other than a strip of bamboo strung through their nostrils, there was no mark on their precious little bodies. They would earn more than a few coins from the people who bought them to add charm for the banquet they laid out for their dead.  

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