Monday, November 03, 2014

LOST and Found in Heaven


 
"Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God..."
- St. Paul, Ephesians 2:19

Sometimes, when I'm boarding a plane to somewhere, I have this strange recurring thought; what if this trip turned into an episode of LOST?

Remember ABC's smash hit series about a motley bunch of airline passengers from all walks of life and all manner of back stories, who find themselves stranded on a "deserted" island? We learned as the series progressed about all of the baggage (no pun intended) that these passengers brought with them. Soon enough, original sin reared its ugly head in that island paradise and fear, and fighting, and grasping was par for every episode.

In the fifth episode of Season 1, Jack Shephard, one of the leaders quelled an uproar among the survivors with what became an iconic line for the entire series:

“If we can't live together, we're gonna die alone."

If this isn't the perennial challenge for humanity in every age, I don't know what is! But how can it be that such an incongruous gaggle of people as we could ever live as one? Can we ever find unity? We, like the characters in LOST, have so much baggage! Pope Francis has a thought in his apostolic exhortation that I believe is perfect for our age, and offers a challenge through the words of our spiritual shepherd not unlike the words of Jack Shephard.
"Appearances notwithstanding, every person is immensely holy and deserves our love... We achieve fulfilment when we break down walls and our heart is filled with faces and names!"
- Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, #274

On Saturday, November 1, we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. Now if this isn't the perennial challenge for humanity in every age! To see, to know, to be the communion God dreamed us to be "in the beginning." And it's possible in and through and by the power of Love. To enable this connection, we have to face the right direction. It's not an inward looking gaze, myopic, me-centered on only my survival. The way up to Heaven, to this holy communion of saints, starts with a gaze out of "the closed, inward looking self" as Pope Benedict put it, through love! For we all know the famous line that "no man is an island", especially the LOST fans. Every man and woman is called to the mainland, to that blessed country where we will know and be known, see and be seen, and we will let go of all of that baggage that we've borne for so long. And enter, unencumbered, the Great Dance...

"...The core of all being, the inmost secret of all reality, is the divine communion."- Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei, 45 

So to the heavenly "cloud of witnesses" of every age, to all you holy men and women, pray for us!


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First published at the Theology of the Body Institute blog

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