One small step — or leap — of faith

| Father Charles Lachowitzer | August 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

It was the summer of 1968. In May of the same year, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. In June of the same year, presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Meanwhile, the Vietnam War raged on. Throughout our nation, it was a summer of riots, protests and great unrest.

Father Charles Lachowitzer

Father Charles Lachowitzer

In this same year, NASA’s Apollo program was well underway. On Christmas Eve of 1968, as Apollo 8 orbited the moon, the astronauts observed the rising of the earth. To mark this historic sight, the astronauts took turns reading from the opening of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. “Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light” (Gn 1:3). The astronauts of Apollo 8 gave us a Christmas gift that was truly a light of hope for so many people.

The following summer, with unrest still tearing at the social fabric of America, we gathered around televisions to witness the first human feet to stand upon the surface of the moon.

It would be many years later that I would read several accounts about how Buzz Aldrin, the one who followed Neil Armstrong as the second person on the moon, himself a Presbyterian, had privately and intentionally consumed bread and wine as his first food and drink on the moon. In these communion elements, Aldrin sensed his communion with the whole earth.

It is to be noted that when Armstrong said those memorable first words on the moon — “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” — he did not take a small step and then, because of low gravity, take a giant leap. No, the historic feat of this first step was the giant leap. So too, Buzz Aldrin’s use of bread and wine was one small step made in faith and became for him one giant leap into the mystery of Jesus Christ.

An ancient proverb reminds us that a 1,000-mile journey begins with the first step. This is how it is with God. Through the person and real presence of Jesus Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit, by grace, our small steps become giant leaps.

  • One small step toward the protection of one life is one giant leap to the sanctity of all life.
  • One small step toward forgiveness becomes one giant leap into the mercy of Jesus.
  • One small step of reconciling differences becomes one giant leap into a more unified world.
  • One small step toward the wounded becomes one giant leap in healing and reparation.
  • One small step toward a greater care for our earth becomes one giant leap to cleaner air, water and land.
  • One small step of social outreach to those most in need becomes one giant leap in the vision of eliminating poverty and homelessness.
  • One small step toward justice becomes one giant leap into the peace for which we all long.
  • One small step of participation in our community of faith becomes one giant leap into a more vibrant and dynamic parish.
  • One small step toward the heaven that is yet to come becomes one giant leap into the heaven that is already here.

St. Theresa of Calcutta once said, “We cannot all do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” One small step made in love becomes one giant leap into the mission of the Church.

One small step toward Jesus becomes one giant leap into the way and the truth of eternal life.

Un pequeño paso o salto de fe

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Category: Only Jesus