My father, Joe Huff was a firefighter for 34 years in the City of Binghamton, NY. From time to time he would take part in “mock-up” exercises involving burning structures with a team of fire-fighters. Inside a building there would be thick smoke, pitch darkness and extreme heat. They would edge their way around the hallways feeling along the walls, the heat increasing as they went. Then, through the smoke, they we see the fire and the shadowy figures of the other fire-fighters. While some members of the team were fighting the fire, others would search through the building for possible persons, some of whom could be injured, to bring them to safety.
He would also be involved in many real fires and other dangerous situations just like our fine fire-fighters in Edgar experience in their work. The success of practices, real-life events and the life of every individual depend on everyone on the team doing their part. A single fire-fighter can do something, but a team of fire-fighters can accomplish much more.
Christians can be compared fire-fighters. We are supposed to change the world for the better but we can’t do it alone. That is why Jesus began a Church. Working as a team with our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church, we can do much more. If only we could make ourselves realize that our Christian lives do in many ways depend on each other. The path to salvation isn’t meant to be a lonely one. We need to be looking out for one another and helping each other in our journey in life.
At the beginning of His mission, Jesus created a team known as the apostles; Peter, Andrew, James and John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James the Less and his brother Jude, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Jesus wanted His team to eventually become a universal team throughout the world. This team would become what we call the Church. No single person in one lifetime could possibly bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on his or her own. Such a transforming mission takes generations, many years and a team that could replenish itself until the Second Coming of our Lord.
By our Christian Baptism we have become members of this team of Jesus; a member of His Mystical Body. Each one of us is meant to join with our Catholic brothers and sisters in worship and in reception of the Sacraments and together with them as a team become light and salt in today’s world. Each one of us is called to be an active member of Jesus’ team. It does take time and it does take generations. But the most important thing to remember is that we are not on our own, even though at times it may feel like that. We are members of a team which, when we work together, works extremely well.