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“”Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

Why “Box of Scraps”?

That, my friends, comes from a line from the 2008 action film, “Ironman.”  Without spoiling too much, Jeff Bridges’ character is trying to get a team of scientists and engineers to replicate one of Tony Stark’s (the man behind the eponymous hero’s mask) inventions.   I could type the entire exchange out, but I’ll just give you the video.

While it is, on the surface, a hilariously delivered line in a summer blockbuster, I actually really love the line beyond that.   First and foremost, it calls to mind Jesus Christ.   Here He is, the Messiah.  The King.  God in the flesh.   He heals many people, often with just His words.   But there are three instances when he uses spit and dirt.  (Mark 7:33, Mark 8:23, and John 9:6.)  That is right.  In John 9:6, Jesus spits on the ground, “makes mud” with it and then proceeds to wipe it on a blind man’s eyes.    Of the most humble “ingredients”, His saliva and the dirt (which, like all things, is ultimately His too) Our Lord “brews” a panacea for serious ailments.   Of course, the power of the miracles was from Jesus, and not the dirt or the saliva, but those things demonstrate certain things about His character, especially His humility.

It also reminds me of Jesus’ mother,  Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary.   As the Ark of the New Covenant, Mary is contrasted with the original Ark of the Covenant.  The original Ark was a man-made structure, built with gold and jewels.   God then gives us His new Ark – just as the old one contained the “essence” of God, Mary contains Christ – God himself – within her immaculate womb.    The New Ark, Mary, is a humble “ingredient” as well.   Like Tony’s box of scraps, or Jesus’ spit-and-mud-lotion.   She is a humble virgin, from the ancient line of David, yes, but a young teenage woman, who becomes pregnant out of wedlock, who births her Son, the Creator of the Universe, in a barn with animals.

In a broader sense, though, the line can remind all of us that we have more than boxes of scraps and caves to build stuff with, and so there’s no excuse to not try harder, to do better, and to create something really meaningful in this often cold and cruel world, which is exactly what Tony Stark did with his Box of Scraps.

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