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It was the bottom of the ninth inning. The Yankees were one out away before sweeping the Red Sox and winning a ticket to the World Series. Kevin Millar was the next batter. He is, in my estimation, the worst clutch hitter I have ever seen. He was facing the greatest closer in baseball history Mariano Rivera. Millar did not get a hit, but he managed a walk. They put the newly acquired speedster, Dave Roberts, on first to run the bases. He stole second, and Bill Mueller got a hit, and the game was tied. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, the Red Sox won the game with a David Ortiz walk-off. After that, the Red Sox systematically defeated the Yankees over the next three games. Next, they won the next four games of the World Series. What made this championship so special was not the fact that they finally won after eighty-six years. It was the way they won. The worst hitter meets the greatest closer.
I recall this story because this is how God tells a story: win against all the odds. Remember Joseph in the book of Genesis. His father favored him over all his older brothers, so the siblings suffered from a father wound. Due to jealousy, they sold their youngest brother to slavery. Joseph was taken to Egypt. He had an excellent master, but the wife accused Joseph of a crime he had never committed. The boy landed in a jail cell. Imagine the scene. Joseph was there hoping that his father would come and break down the door and say to him, “Let’s go home.” But that would never happen. I picture Joseph crying himself to sleep.
It is at this moment in the story that I say to God, “Where are You in this story? Do something.” That night the leader of the world, Pharaoh, had a dream but could not interpret its meaning. Joseph told Pharaoh the meaning of the dream. There will be a worldwide famine. Store the grain from the harvest because you will need it. Sure enough, there was a famine, and Egypt supplies food for the nations. Not only did Joseph save the world, but was reunited with his father and brothers. It is a terrific story because it is a win against all the odds.
Paul tells us in his letter that all the suffering we endure is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us.
Imagine you are at a game, and your team is losing. You sit there quietly, enduring the mishaps while the other team is gloating before you. The last pitch of the game is a walk-off for your team. Naturally, you are very happy. What are you thinking? It was worth it. All the embarrassment and disappointment you endured through the game was worth it.
It is the same with us. We are Kevin Millar. We are Joseph. All the disappointments, fears, sufferings, and setbacks we endure in life will be worth it. God loves a story with a win against all odds.Back to All Homilies