This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Luke 21:20-28 Standing Tall And Alone
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Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God. But I also believe all that we see and do inspire us towards God and neighbor. History and poetry go hand in hand like science and faith. All are honest, real, rich and necessary for a proper understanding of our beginnings and of our end.
For example, an atheist will think of himself (and others) as just a bunch of atoms put together. I agree. But although I may be a bunch of atoms put together, I get excited for reasons that are significantly different than why atoms get excited. I am more than just the sum of my atoms.
Last night, around 6:00 pm, I was with a family riding a bike around the neighborhood. As I was struggling my way up a hill, I lifted up my head to catch more air. That’s when I saw it: the moon.
I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. Bright. Huge. Inspiring. I love the moon, but I am not a lunatic! I love the moon, even though I can’t feel its presence. I love it because I can capture it with my naked eye and wrap it around my brain. I can size it up and take it as well. It’s mine and no one can take it away from me. For me, the moon is not only a heavenly body; it is so much like a human body; that is, another person. The closest object to the earth is the moon. People are the only creatures I will ever get close to. Know. But just like the moon, most of us will only get to see one side of it: the “nicer”, “warmer”, “not-so-harsh”side. The side exposed to the sun.
Isn’t that how people are? They only want us to see their good side; the side exposed to the Son.
Scientists believe that our moon was the result of a collision between a proto-planet and infant earth. I believe it, but for another reason as well: like most of our relationships, one always seems to get the better part of the deal.
There is one thing we know for sure: the moon and the earth are both satellites of the sun. That’s right; we are all satellites of the Son.
What I can say about the moon, I can’t say about the sun. I know it’s there. I can even feel its presence. When my back is up against it, I know it is behind me. When it is dark out, I know we have hidden ourselves from it. Of course I know it’s always there. But I just can’t seem to get a really good look at it. When the day gets clearer, it only gets brighter! Sometimes, it’s easier to see it when the day is overcast. But although the sun lights up everything around me, I can’t get a glimpse of the rays of light that surround me.
Like the sun, the Son always makes his presence felt – even seen – if only for a brief moment in time and even when I turn my back on Him. Of course I can turn my back on the Lord, as I often do, regardless of how omnipresent and omnipotent He may be. And every time I do, without fail, I will end up cold, hidden and afraid, a victim of predators. Interestingly enough, like an overcast day, when the fog in my life has not been lifted, I may actually see the Son of God clearer than ever before, like never before.
The sun is not only comparable to the Son of God; it is also similar to a man’s soul. Yes, a man’s soul is similar to the sun’s rays of light and heat. It sheds light on who he is better than any of his external features. Love makes a man’s presence much more meaningful than just his physical presence. Due to his soul and regardless of his neighbor, he is more than the sum of his body parts. He may be cut to pieces by his neighbor, but he will remain a giant in the eyes of his fellow man. Like the sun, the soul is hard to define. It is that side of man that no one can see but can definitely feel. And just like our sun, our soul gets the least amount of our attention as well.
Far too often, we give far too much credit to our body and our accomplishments; that is, the fleshy or the glamorous. The Quarterback or running back typically gets the Heisman. The astronaut always lands on the moon. The President and Generals get all the credit for winning the wars. This is not right. It is a lack of reflection. Even more credit should be given to the unseen people who made it all possible: the line men, the technicians, the Unknown Soldier. But it will never be. It is far too expensive.
The moon, the Earth and the Sun are giants! They stand tall…and alone, just like the Saints; just like God and the human soul. They all stand tall and alone. I believe they are the unsung and unknown heroes of it all.
Blessed are they who have the eyes of faith and the gift of Holy Spirit to understand and give thanks to the Lord.
Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.
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