Vehicles’ movements on the roads through the hills and mountains are often disrupted by big or small landslides especially during the monsoon or rainy season or when there are big or small earth quakes or strong wind. If landslides are happening on highways where many vehicles move on by, immediately the mud and stones on the roads are removed especially by using equipments such as bulldozers, JCB etc. and roads are cleared up. If the landslides happen on the roads which are going to some villages and not many vehicles are passing by, these roads will be cleared up slowly sometimes manually.
Our earthly journey towards our destiny is disrupted by many obstacles. The importance and necessity of reaching the destination will enable us to take various steps to remove the obstacles that hinder on our path to reach our destination. These obstacles can be big or small. St Paul says (Rom. 8:38) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor ruler nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor height, nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love God in Christ Jesus Our Lord.”
The purpose of our existence here on earth is to achieve certain goals. Saints especially the martyrs of the Church sacrificed their life for the love of Christ and his missions and Church. During the first few centuries many Christians sacrificed their lives for the sake of their faith in Jesus Christ under the persecution by the Emperors Oeclus, Oloclasion, Septimus Severus and Valerian. TheApostles, St. Fabian, St Sebastian, St. Pertetua, St. Felicity, St. Lawrence, St. Sixtus II, St. Boniface, St. Iranaus, St. Apollinaris, St. Adalbert of Prague, St. Jaunarius, St. Ignatius of Antioch are some saints who sacrificed their lives for the love of Jesus. St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, St. Fidells of Sigmanngen. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross are some of the saints who have sacrificed their lives for the poor and needy. John the Baptist, St. Thomas More, St. Thomas Becket, St. Stanislavs are a few of the prophets who dared to denounce corruption in the high places and sacrificed their lives for that cause. St. Agnes, St. Maria Goretti, St. Agatha are some saint virgins who sacrificed their lives to safeguard their virginity to embrace Christ.
We find many saints and many people who made great sacrifices in their lives to embrace God and teaching of Jesus Christ. For Mahatma Gandhi truth and non-violence were synonymous to God and he was ever ready to die for truth and non-violence.
If ultimate aim in our life is to reach God then we have many roads to reach Him. The roads may be our deep love for the Gospel, helping the missions of the Church, our deep love for the poor and needy, readiness to stand for the truth and justice etc. In all these our ultimate aim is to reach God.
Fr. Edward Lincoly asked Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “Let me write a book on you and your sisters’ life and work?” Mother Theresa replied, “Father we are not here for some social work and our sisters are not social workers, we do all these for Jesus” The biography of Mother Theresa was published in 1977 titled “We do it for Jesus”.
Mother Theresa chose to serve the poorest of the poor, the sick and the abandoned in the society for Jesus and her loving service was the road she chose to reach God. For St. Francis of Assisi the road to reach God was choosing poverty in his life. If we read the life of any saints we find certain roads they chose to reach God. On this roads they had to face many trials and difficulties, abandonment, suffering etc but through persevering efforts they removed or overcame those obstacles with firm determination to reach their destiny.
Jesus’ road here on earth was to do the will of the Father. The suffering, agony, isolation, cross and death were the obstacles on his way. Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane reveals the challenge that Jesus faced in his life to remove the obstacle of pain, humiliation, isolation, intense mental and bodily pain. “My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me, yet not I want but what you want” (Mt. 26:39).
When there is heavy rain or earth quake or strong wind landslides happen on roads, when great problems come in our life there arise many obstacles in our life to reach God. Whenever there was persecution of Christians many obstacles also came into the lives of Christians to practice their faith.
Confession, counseling, spiritual guidance, prayer, and sacraments are some of the Bulldozers and JCBs to remove certain fear, anxieties, frustrations and many other problems in our lives that remain as obstacles on our path to God.
Let us pray to our Heavenly Father to give us a clear vision of our goal in Him and strength to remove the obstacles that hinder our way to Him.
– – – written by Fr. James Pezhummootil MSFS