…what a bizarre word. I mean, we really don’t use the word very often in our day to day vernacular: “Wow, that show was epic!”, “What an epic meal that was!”, or “I just love her epic sense of humor!” These sentences just don’t sound right. However, this strange word does mean something very powerful. The way that I understand ‘epic’ is something that is extraordinary, like a journey or a conversion.
I bet you are wondering what I’m getting at? Well, at the start of Lent, there have been some beautifully produced commercials airing on TV inviting those people who have left the Church to give us another try. One of these commercials (see below) is entitled “EPIC”. I was immediately drawn in. The message that this ‘invitation’ provides is one of a great journey, viz. Epic.
After hearing all of those important ‘stepping stones’ in our journey as the Catholic Church, I began to wonder where I, where we, fit in this jaunt. At first I felt very discouraged thinking that there is really nothing I could do to help people ‘come home’. This institution is just too extensive, too big, too epic of a task. How could I possibly fit into this ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’ with such a long history? But then it hit me like a ton of bricks while watching the commercial on TV one day. It’s not just a list of credentials for other people, rather, this epic journey is my journey as well. I have just as much ownership in this remarkable community as any one else. And therefore, it is my responsibility, just as much as yours, to make sure that we extend that same message to those who are away.
But, ‘Catholics Come Home’ is not the only epic journey of our faith. This 40 day journey that we are in the middle of now is also very epic in its own right. Not only is promising to draw closer to the Lord through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving an extraordinary time in our Church year, it is also a great time of conversion.
Allowing ourselves to give of ourselves physically, spiritually and charitably allows us to realign ourselves and reconsider what our true priorities in life are. These 40 days out of the other 365 might seem extensive as we live through them, but they allow us to ‘get a grip’ on ourselves to prepare for that Great Day that is to come, both at the Dawn of Easter morning and the Dawn of the Resurrection at the end of time.
Which then, brings us to another journey. And yes, you guessed it. An EPIC journey. The journey that Christ took for all of us is probably the most epic journey of all. It allowed humanity to come face to face with the Divine.
Jesus walked among us and lived our lives. He made friends with those outcasts, walked with sinners, and excluded no one. An example that we struggle to live up to. And in the end, when His example was misunderstood, he took an Epic journey into the cold grip of death only to destroy the chains of Death forever.
As we continue on our own individual epic Lenten journey, keep in mind the more Epic journey that guarantees us all a place to Come Home to.