Thursday, February 23, 2012

Into the desert... alone?

Everyone knows the hymn "Lonesome Valley."

Jesus walked this lonesome valley.
He had to walk it by Himself;
O, nobody else could walk it for Him,
He had to walk it by Himself.

We must walk this lonesome valley,
We have to walk it by ourselves;
O, nobody else can walk it for us,
We have to walk it by ourselves.

v You must go and stand your trial,
You have to stand it by yourself,
O, nobody else can stand it for you,
You have to stand it by yourself.

Now, I'm not denying that the end of the day, you must stand before your maker, and that you yourself are responsible to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, as Paul says. But the path to judgement is not one we walk alone.

No, no one else can walk our path for us, but is not the point of the Church, is not the point of salvation itself that we are not walking alone? Take my yoke, for it is easy, and my burden is light. The yoke binds a team of oxen together, and the Yoke of Christ binds us to Him, and bound to Him we are bound to each other.

Jesus Christ, being God, was always in the beatific vision. He was with the Father and the Spirit through the entire course of His earthly life - He does not say, "I and the Father were one," but "I and the Father are one."

We must make this Lenten journey for ourselves, but we are not by ourselves. The 2,600+ people at all the Masses in my parish yesterday should make that clear. But more than that, even when we flee to the solace of quiet and solitude, God is there! We are not alone in this journey, we are strengthened by our brothers and sisters, by our mother the Church, and most importantly by Our Lord Himself.

For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me.

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