The first steps that we took were with the help of Mommy or Daddy or both. After many falls we finally learned to walk by ourselves. Learning to ride a bicycle came easier for some than for others. First came the falls, scrapes, cuts until we learned to maintain our balance. Driving a car is not supposed to involved many accidents, yet for some, even in a car, the bumps are inevitable.
The teachers in our life show us the way and then let us go on our own. Part of growing up—learning to swim, to ski, to use a skateboard. Once we learn we do not need to be held. The learning process gives way to independence. We go through phases in our life. Childhood, or the age of innocence, which can be prolonged by the way, is about original innocence—the way we were created. Usually a child trusts everything, especially the parents. Then something happens. Adolescence is a growing up time. The Church reaches out to teenagers in the Sacrament of Confirmation as they renew their Baptismal vows which were made in their name when they were babies. Teenage years are about stretching, questioning, wondering—a beautiful opportunity to rejoice in the marvels of the body—the gift of our humanity. Most young people are ready to conquer the world—nothing seems beyond their capacity. Given the illusion that the electronic apparatuses have caused, a young person today might be more inclined to consider themselves invincible in comparison to former generations.
We are more modern than we’ve ever been. Our grandparents thought the same way. However, their speed of communication was a bit slower. We’re fast now. We’re the best. No other age has accomplished what we have accomplished. Pride can zoom up to our heads to the point where we think that we don’t need anybody. Got money, got a big house, got your cell phone—what else can anyone want? Why shouldn’t we be happy? There’s even an old saying that we repeat, “When you have your health, you have everything.” Really! What about God? Where is God in our life? Stuff can get in the way of our relationship with Him. Processions can distract us from raising our eyes in prayer.
Distraction is the devil’s game. Evil wants us to think that we are self-sufficient—that we have earned what we have. Listen to the words of Jesus talking to us, “…without me you can do nothing—you are nothing.” One of the descriptions of the devil is to say that he is nothing. Since he is apart from God—he has no identity—the absence of good—he is no one. God gives us our personality—our reason for living. He wants us connected to Him forever. Although we might fall into temptation, into sin, Christ never stops holding us. He waits patiently, sometimes until we fall flat on our face. He waits with open arms; asks no questions; makes no accusations. The vine knows that we are only branches—part of a much bigger picture. Even if we give up on ourselves, the Lord will never give up on us. Only a fool would turn their back on unconditional love. The Eucharist is the most perfect way to be part of the Vine. We congratulate the children who approach the Table of the Lord for the first time. Never forget to come every weekend until the day we see Him face to face in heaven.
Time to get connected back to the source of Life—Jesus Christ. He does not need us, we need Him.