As ‘Los 33’, the Chilean miners, were winched to the surface one by one in the ‘Phoenix’ , greeted with such scenes of jubliation in Camp Hope, and around the world, their personal stories began to emerge. One miner said that during those 69 days of incarceration hundreds of meters down in the earth, he had met both God and the devil, and that God had won! Another, on stepping of out the capsule, fell on his knees and prayed his thanksgiving for being brought out of such darkness into light . In the days and weeks ahead we will hear more – life will never be the same again. What caught my imagination was the fact that many people had been praying continually and not losing heart – it echoed with the readings yesterday 29th Sunday Ordinary Time, year C – Moses with his arms raised in prayer for his people, supported on either side by Aaron and Hur; Paul to Timothy saying stick with your faith in Christ and all you have been taught and know to be true, and be guided by it, and Luke, with the parable of the persistent widow.
The real-life drama of the last few weeks in San Jose mine, and the Word of God in sacred scripture intermingled. I wondered what sort of witness to my faith do I both give and receive in the parish community, particularly in our accompaniment of enquirers and catechumens? Is it obvious that we are trying to live what we know to be true, tuning in to the Spirit listening in us, teaching us? Perhaps it is in our darkest times that we recognise our need of rescue – and find that there are life-forces at work unknown to worldly authorities. It could have turned very nasty down there in the dark ruins of the mine – but it seems that other deeper truths were drawn on and sustained them – discipleship seems to function at a level where power does not exist..
This week? Will Christ find evidence of real, living faith in me? Can I open my eyes and ears and heart and notice the sacred encounters the continuing, ongoing, dynamic, saving, healing presence of Christ among us, whether I am in darkness or light, creating that life-giving environment? I think Christ will, Christ does find faith on earth! Do you?