I’m sometimes struck by a strange recurring thought when boarding an airplane…what if this trip turns into an episode of LOST?
ABC’s smash hit series LOST followed a motley bunch of airline passengers from all walks of life, who found themselves stranded on a “deserted” island. As the series progressed, viewers learned all about each passenger, and about the baggage (no pun intended) that each brought with them. Soon enough in the story, original sin reared its ugly head; and fear, fighting, and grasping was brought to the island paradise.
In the fifth episode of Season 1, the character Jack Shephard quells an uproar among the survivors with what becomes 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, I don’t know what is! But how can such an incongruous gaggle of people ever live as one? Can we ever find unity? We, like the characters in LOST, have so much baggage! Pope Francis offers a challenge through his apostolic exhortation 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. To see, to know, to be the communion God dreamed us to be “in the beginning” is only possible in, through, and BY the power of Love. To enable this communion, we have to face the right direction. An inward-looking, myopic gaze will focus me only on 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- (especially the LOST fans) the famous line that “no man is an island”. Every man and woman is called to the mainland, to the blessed country where we will know and be known, see and be seen. At that point we will let go of the 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!
Bill Donaghy has spoken internationally on faith and the New Evangelization since 1999. Through his work with the Pontifical Mission Societies, Bill gave hundreds of talks on the spirituality of mission to young people throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond, creating a teaching and speaking ministry known as MissionMoment.org. He holds an Associates Degree in Visual Arts, a Bachelors in Philosophy and a Masters in Systematic Theology. In addition to his full-time work for the Theology of the Body Institute, Bill teaches at Immaculata University. He and his wife, Rebecca, live outside of Philadelphia, PA with their four children.