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Shock Them with Goodness
Anger can be a good thing. Not only does it tell you that something is wrong, but it also gives you the energy to fix the problem. There you are, sitting on your La-Z-Boy, relaxing when your dog walks in and chews on your brand-new expensive shoes. You are immediately energized. You leap out of the La-Z-Boy, grab the shoes, and place them on a high shelf. Anger gives you the energy to fix the problem.
Every time I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think of is: “What is going to break today.” One of the seminarians approached me and said, “I had a little accident.” I went out and saw the smashed bumper. Seeing the bumper hanging off of the van energized me (AUGGGGG). So I went on YouTube, and the guy assured me, “No problem! Bumpers are made of plastic, so just pour boiling water on them and tap them out with a hammer. It will look good as new.”
I say this because Paul begins his letter to the Romans by telling us that the “Wrath of God” is upon us. This is a horrible way to start the letter because you think we will all die. But that is not what Paul is talking about. God sees our brokenness and is energized to fix it. So what is the problem that God sees? The problem is not the spiders. They do exactly what they were made to do. They spin beautiful symmetrical webs. It is not snowflakes. They cling together and make the world look beautiful. And it is not sunsets. It is us. We are broken. God sees our sadness and brokenness and is energized to fix it.
One of the greatest experiences we can have is happy surprises. I told the seminarian, “I want to show you something.” When he saw the bumper of the van looking as good as new, he was shocked. He asked, “How did you fix it?” He was so happy because all the shame and embarrassment were whipped away at that moment. That is Christmas. God comes to us and says, “Come here; I want to show you something.”
When people embarrass or insult us in front of our friends, we are energized to fix the problem. Turn the other cheek, and you will shock them. When people take things from us, we are energized to fix the problem. Give them your coat as well, and you will shock them. When people hate and hurt us, we are energized to fix the problem. Love the enemy, and you will shock them. The world is full of brokenness and sadness. So get out there and shock them.Back to All Homilies