Where Is Galilee?
It can happen to us, anytime. Sometimes, it comes with a disappointment. At other times, it happens when we are talking to a friend or reading a book. It can also happen on a very ordinary Monday, when we are walking along and see a violet growing in the crack of a sidewalk. Joseph Campbell refers to this as the call to adventure. From time to time, Life naturally awakens the hero, or heroine, in all of us. Often, this call leads to bliss and our own Easter.
Although we can always say no, the call returns again and again in a different guise. How kind on the part of God, or Life, or even the angels, to keep on doing this!
If we say yes, we will be led to the threshold of adventure, where stands the guardians of the doorway. Their task is to remind us that we are about to embark on a very serious journey. We may also be met by friends, whose task it is to encourage us. These friends may give us their own personal sacramentals to strengthen us for the hard days ahead.
As we enter this strange and unknown land, we meet both friendly and hostile forces. The hostile forces try to hold us back from going farther. The kindly forces encourage us and give us strength, reminding us that there is a prize up ahead, maybe just around the bend.
Finally, we come to the most important moment in the inward journey. Campbell refers to this as the terrible ordeal. St. John of the Cross expresses it much the same way.
If we stay with the struggle, the grace and the prize are ours. But, this is not the end. There is the struggle of return. The hostile forces try to deter us from seeing the sun, again. The friendly forces urge us on. When we do see the sun, it is Easter! Furthermore, when we reflect on what happened in the dark, the venture may indeed seem unreal. In addition, we learn that the prize is not really ours until we give it away. In other words, the prize is for others.
All along the way, we thought we were making this journey by ourselves, relying on our own native strength. In reality, it was not the hero, or the heroine, who had the courage and the self-giving to go ahead, but in some mysterious way, the Divine was struggling with us.
The Easter liturgy repeatedly has the Risen Jesus saying, "I will go before you to Galilee. There you will see me." The story and our prayer continue. In the quiet of our hearts, we experience ourselves wondering, "Where is Galilee?"
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.