Umm yeah that just happened. Because it’s true! The Olympics have started people and even though I don’t have a TV so I’m supper behind on my Olympic watching duties, I’d like to dedicate this blog to the worldwide event that mesmerizes people and unites nations because if we look to the heart of this competition, something truly amazing is happening.
One of my favorite parts of the Olympics as a whole, is the opening ceremony. This is the moment that kicks off the series of events and is always filled with awe and glam, but one of the greatest traditions in this opening ceremony, is the bringing in of the Olympic flame. Now I don’t know about all you Catholics out there, but this age old procession of the Olympic flame always gives me flashbacks to an age old Catholic tradition that has an awful lot to do with light, called Easter Vigil. During the Easter Vigil a procession of light occurs where the light is typically brought from outside the Church to inside where a perpetual light is lit for the events to follow. Sounds similar right?
The similarities between these two events is quite remarkable, and I encourage you to research this on your own, but this light is not just a literal light, as in the physical presence of the Easter candle, but moreover, it is the “light” of baptism, the flame of Christ in our heart through faith. We, like the Olympians carrying the torch, have this amazing light which we fight to keep from blowing out by sin or the winds of indifference or forgetfulness, lack of instruction, apathy, or tragedy. Fr. David Konderla gave an amazing homily on this last Sunday and a couple of his points were “We are not baptized and that’s it, this is not magic, its union, its relationship. So that we can live with Christ and for Christ….”. There is so much more good stuff where that was coming from so to listen to the podcast of this awesome holily click here. But I’d like to relish on two main points from the above.
First, we have to work for our faith. We are like the Olympians preparing and training themselves for the ultimate event. We have to be like those athletes, discipline and focused on our ultimate goal and purpose so that we can be prepared for the event of our life, for our vocation. We must constantly be in training. “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). That’s right people St. Paul knew what was up! He knew about the Olympics and the connection between these dedicated athletes and us dedicated Christians.
My second point is the last part of what Fr. David said, the part that this light does not isolate us, but it unites us. Just as in the Olympics athletes do not compete as individuals, but they compete as a member of the country, so must we not shine our lights as individuals but unite this light as a universal Church. We must never forget this fact that we are made for relationship, for communion. Even though we all have different talents and these talents should be utilized to their fullest because they are from God, these different parts all make up the same Body of Christ.
So all the people of the world keep dancing and singing and curling and snowboarding and bobsledding because remember we must utilize our talents to have the greatest chances of winning gold. And to achieve this eternal gold, we must preserve and struggle to continue in faith.