By Fr. Pierre Aubin, MSC
We owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (St. Paul)
Soon we will be seeing geese flying north in V formation. Did you ever ask yourself why in V formation? Recently I came across the explanation why they do. You probably know the reason but here it is: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. This enables the flock to reach its destination more easily and more quickly. Similarly, it would seem logical that people who are going to the same place can reach their destination more quickly and easily by traveling together and supporting each other.
We all are on a pilgrimage. Hopefully we are all headed in the same direction. We all hope to make it to heaven one day. Before leaving this earth Jesus told his disciples: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.” The people who gathered together form this new community we call the Church. By being active members of the Church we can reach our destination more easily together. This is not to say that personal prayer is not necessary. Without personal prayer our active participation in the Church will become mechanical – routine.
There is another thing science tells us about geese. When one of them falls out of formation, they quickly feel the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, so they get back into formation for the lifting power provided by others. Unfortunately when we humans try to go it alone spiritually, we are often slow to realize we are making no progress spiritually or we are even going in the wrong direction. We need to stay connected with the Church, fellow travelers.
Another thing science tells us: if a bird gets sick or injured, and falls out of formation, two others fall out with it and follow it down to give help and protection until it either gets well or dies. Then they will either launch out on their own or join a new formation until they can get back to their group.
We have a responsibility to care for each other. St. Paul tells us “We owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law”.