Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Homily 2010: "Undercover Boss"

There’s a show that is on Sunday evenings called “Undercover Boss.” The premise of the show is that the CEO of a company disguises himself as a new employee and works in one of the lowest positions of the company to see what it is like. The show is actually very moving because most CEOs live pretty extravagant lives and this is an opportunity for them to come into contact with some people that they would not normally interact with. They experience the lives of their employees, the customers, and the sufferings of the common person.

Some of the companies that have participated are: Great Wolf Resorts, DIRECTV, NASCAR, Chiquita, Frontier Airlines, Chicago Cubs, Lucky Strike Lanes, Subway, Johnny Rockets, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

It was fascinating to watch as the owners of these companies entered into the lowest positions. It was a very humbling experience for many of them to see how hard working their employees are. It was also an eye opener for them to see how difficult their lives were.

One episode that I particularly enjoyed was with the 7-Elevan owner, Joe DePinto, who worked a night shift with a driver named Igor. Igor is from Russia. He’s a joyful, fun-loving man who speaks with a Russian accent. Now imagine the scene with the two of them driving together in the truck over night.

Joe begins to ask him: “So, do you have a family?” Igor responds “Yes, I have two kids, I have a granddaughter.” Joe excitedly cuts him off “How bout your wife?” Igor says with a little sadness: “I’m working nights, she’s working daytime.” As they finish unloading palettes from the truck Joe asks him: “You don’t miss being with your family working night shift?” Igor responds very genuinely… “My children I do, my wife… since we only see each other on the weekends… less time to argue, and we are like lovers… we only have two days together, no time to argue.” They both laugh hardily together. Joe continues asking him all kinds of questions: “How do you stay so motivated through the middle of the night?” Igor responds with great enthusiasm: “I’m living the American dream. You guys don’t know how blessed you are. I came here with no English, no knowledge of any culture, and only fifty dollars in my pocket, I’m blessed. You ask me why I’m so motivated… I’m so thankful for this country that allows me to survive and be happy.”

Without realizing it Igor has just worked side by side with the CEO of the company that has provided for his living. Joe came to see and know in Igor such a wonderful man. He experienced up close and personal his dedication and his goodness. In the end he would reward Igor with his own franchise and a dream vacation with his wife.

What if the owner of your company were to lower himself and spend time with you? What if he was working with you on the job so that he could learn not only about what you do, but who you are? What if he cared about your dreams, what your difficulties are, what your hopes and needs are?

Now imagine the CEO of CEOs, THE Creator of the Universe, GOD… humbled Himself, lowered Himself, disguised Himself, and took on human flesh so that He could be with you. Imagine that He wants to experience first-hand what your life is like. What if God were to come into your life in such a real way that you could talk to him, touch him, see him, and interact with Him? What if He humbled himself so much so that He would listen to your frustrations and embrace your suffering and walk with you? What if he really cared to learn about you and make things better for you?

As we celebrate Christmas we discover that God is the “Undercover Boss.”

Listen to these words from the Gospel of John:

“And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,”

The Creator of the universe humbles himself and takes on human flesh so that he can be with us in our lives.

He’s here working side by side with us, often disguised, and we fail to realize his presence:

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.

And all of our struggles with work, with family, with relatives, or friends… he knows them. All of our Joys, our thankfulness, our gratitude he knows it too and he delights in sharing it with us.

He is with you this Christmas, working with you side by side, helping you, affirming you, rewarding you… what an amazing gift it is that the God of the universe would humble himself and take on human flesh to be with us. This is what we experience in the Eucharist. This is who you become for others when you receive him. This is why we come here every Sunday to allow the Lord access into our lives and to share it all with him.

May you realize this Christmas day that God is with you and share your life with him because he is so proud of you. Take every opportunity you can to talk to him, to pray with him, to be with him. If you have been away from Him for a while, maybe this is the time to return. Come back to your faith, come back to the sacraments, share your difficulties with him in confession, let him take your sins which he came to free you from, be with him every Sunday at the Eucharist. You can experience him in the Word of God, as the scriptures are read He does speak to you, you can experience him in the Priest who stands in the Person of Christ, you can touch him and be fed by him in the Eucharist, and you can interact with Him in the gathered assembly of people.

He comes to you Undercover because he desires so much to relate to you on your level. The God of the Universe is with you, working side by side with you, delighting in your joys and acknowledging sufferings.

This Christmas may you realize his presence and share your life with him.

You can watch the episode here

Or many more here

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