Heard a great homily by Fr. Jack Shuler about our orientation as disciples - whether our eyes are full of hope and fixed on Jesus or on the negative things all around us. There were two brothers, one the epitome of positivity and the other of negativity. Their father, hoping to help each of them look at the world a bit more realistically, thought long and hard about what he would give each of them for Christmas. When Christmas morning finally arrived, the father watched expectantly as his pessimistic son opened his gift - a brand new, top-of-the-line, Rolex Watch. The father expected joy, but the pessimistic son was downcast. He immediately handed it back to his father, "I can't accept this. It's too much; knowing my luck I'll break it by this evening." The father turned to watch his starry-eyed, positive son unwrap his gift...a piece of manure. The father was taken aback when the boy started hopping up and down in excitement, "Dad, I can't believe it! Where's the pony?"
Man, I like that. What an awesome way to see the difficulties and sufferings we deal with - precursors to something awesome.