I have no idea what God has planned for you. I do know that God has a plan for you. And it’s our job to try to work according to his plan.
Why? Because He kind of knows what he’s doing, and if we think we know better, then just take me a perfectly wretched example for yourself. And I say a wretched example because I didn’t ever plan on being a priest. I know there are many people, my seminarian brothers, who may have actually planned on being a priest when you were my height – so about when you were 12.
I think everyone, at the core of who they are, has a plan for goodness in their life. Certainly things can go wrong, evil things can happen to us.
And the only thing that can really fight against evil are good plans.
Plans that literally are laid out according to God, that will bring us to a desired destination even if sometimes the plan takes a couple of different detours. We’ve got a plan for those detours as well.
We are All Called to Be Theologians
And I’m telling you this because all of us are called to be theologians.
And you’re thinking, “Theologians? That’s what you’ve got to study in order to become a priest or a nun.”
Nope. You’ve got to be a theologian if you’re going be a Christian. Let me tell you what the word theology really means and why you’re called to be a theologian. Because a theologian is someone who studies theology, and the word theology is from two Greek words; theo, logos. And the word logos means exactly that, “word.” But it is also where we get the word, “logic.”
And it’s the logic of the “theo” and that “theo” is God. These are people who study the logic of God, and that’s why we’re asking you to thirst for what God wants for you. Because if you immerse yourself in evil, eventually evil will become your logic.
That’s why people who kill in the name of God really show what kind of theologians they are. They’re studying the logic of truly an evil god. Our God is a God of goodness. We heard about him in the gospel. Our God is a God who doesn’t quench out a smoldering wick. Our God doesn’t simply break the bruised reed.
I know you’re thinking, “I don’t even know what that means.” Then pay attention, Theologians. A smoldering reed is exactly who we are. We’re people whose flames of faith are almost diminishing.
Does our God snuff it out? No. He patiently covers it, gives it a little bit more to fuel that fire, and he allows it to grow.
We are the bruised reeds. That basically means we are broken, but does God just simply cut us out from beneath? No, He tends the vine.
This is what God is doing with us. We are called theologians, so let me tell you what a theologian really does every day. We are considering the parts of our life and trying to put them together. That’s what a theologian does.
Understand: The Whole is Great than the Sum of Its Parts
I got this from one of my professors. He said, “In order for us to be theologians, you have to do what was known at one point was a math equation.” Let me just explain it. It’s called Gestalt. Gestalt is a formula that says the whole is greater than the total sum of parts. Let me explain because it’s about a plan. The whole is greater than the total sum of parts.
The total sum of parts would kind of be like a box of puzzle pieces still in the box. That’s the total. We got all the pieces together.
But is that better than when you take the time and you put it together? The sum total of the parts is a box full of puzzle pieces, but the whole is the completed picture.
You know what that requires? For us to immerse ourselves and thirst for the desire to take the pieces of our lives and put them together. And remember, every piece of that puzzle has to have God. Don’t forget God as part of the puzzle.
And I don’t know about you, but I know right now you probably think I’m such a calm, quiet introvert, and I get it. But I was never always this quiet and shy.
When I was younger, I was a hyper-maniac. Could you imagine what my parents had to go through? Just to keep me occupied they would give me a box of puzzle pieces to get them out of their hair for a couple of days. It was 15 billion pieces of the puzzle that they asked, “Here, have fun with this. God, please get them out of my hair for just a few minutes…”
So I would sit there, and I’d put this puzzle piece of a billion pieces together in 30 minutes. And my mom would be like, “How did you do that?” And then I would bring her over, and I would show it to her and she realized what I did. I just started putting pieces together and if it didn’t fit, I found scissors and made it fit. Scotch tape. And what did I get at the end of this? An absolute mess.
Live According to His Plan, Not Ours
And can I tell you why I think our world is so messy? We’re not taking the time to put the pieces of our lives together according to His plan. Not ours.
Which is why our lady of Mount Carmel tells us that she had one desire. “Let it be done according to your plan, not mine.” See, we all have plans for ourselves, but do they include God? Do they include God, or have we forgotten him?
And do you know what all ultimately it takes to put the pieces of the puzzle, which is called life, together well? Patience, patience, patience. And that’s the worst thing for us in this world that has bought into the fast food mentality.
We all have bought in the fast food mentality where we think we can get everything in a microwaveable minute, but God uses a crock pot.
Anticipation keeps making me wait because good things come to those who wait, including those who are waiting for love. See what I did there?
I think one of the big problems and why we’re so messed up is because we’ve been impatient with the process of love. And by the way, I love this word patience, and I know one thing about it is where it comes from. From the Latin pati, and if you conjugate it patior passionis.
That’s the word where we get “passion” from. But the word pati is actually a verb that means to suffer. It’s where we get the word patient because people who are patients are in hospitals and what are they doing? Suffering.
I brought this up because we have become so impatient with love. Certainly with church. “If I don’t get anything out of it I just leave.” Then you’re missing a very important piece of the puzzle. It’s the outward frame that keeps it all together.
Embracing God’s Plan: Suffering Keeps Life Together
I’ve got to tell you something. I’m going to give you good news. It’s not going to sound good.
Life requires suffering. I’m telling you, it’s good news. Why? Because every plan, if you want it to succeed, will require sacrifice and a level of suffering.
You want a happy marriage? Then you’re going to have to suffer through some things.
You want a gold medal? You’re going to have to suffer under the direction of your coach.
You want to become holy? Then we’re going to have to suffer through some of the homilies.
But are you willing to be patient? Is patience part of the plan? Well, I think let’s start with some practicalities.
What’s going to be your plan when you finish reading this post?
And I think maybe we should set some parameters. Let me put it this way. A good plan requires you to follow one. So who are you following? Plan question number one. And who do you hope follows you? That’s also part of the plan. And ultimately you’re going to have a job.
Embracing God’s Plan at Mass
At Mass, most people plan on the most important part of mass, which is when the priest or Deacon says, “Mass has ended, go in peace.”
That’s what everyone plans for. And good! Because the word “mass” comes from the verb mitto, mittere, misi, missus, where we get the word “mission.” It is actually a word that means “to send.” You see, God’s got a plan. He called all of you here just to send you out there, just like a missionary.
The same root gives us the word missile. Missile. You are like a missile. Trust me, I’ve seen you leave right after communion. But that missile is never going to hit the target.
And so what you’ve got to become at the end of this mass is like a missile with a plan. And what does a missile do? It hits its target. And what does it do when it hits it target? It explodes. So where’s your target? And then more importantly, what are you going to explode with? Well, if you’re taking the plan of mass seriously, you’re going to be filled up with His word become flesh dwelling among us.
You see, God’s got a plan for you and me. He is a part of every puzzle in our life. If we are willing to patiently put the pieces together, we will have a plan to defeat evil in this world.
What does it take? Someone not to sit on the couches and plan evil, but to plan to spend time with Jesus in prayer and let Him fill you with the good things because our destination is His plan.
He wants us in heaven. So go ahead, brothers and sisters. Get filled up and at the end of every mass, explode with who you’re hungering and thirsting for.