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The Catholic Moment: Never a Lone Ranger

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

By Father Rob Waller

Do you remember the Lone Ranger? Who was always with him? Exactly! Tonto. Apparently, the Masked Man was not really a lone ranger. He had a faithful, human companion. Even with his silver bullets to protect him and his white stallion on which to ride into danger and to ride into the sunset, he needed a human at his side to help him right wrongs and to protect his back.

Brenda, who was baptized at our Easter Vigil, and all the others who were baptized in churches throughout the world on the night before Easter, had with them, what? Exactly! A godparent. The men and women who meet in our church basement every Thursday for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting are accompanied in their walk in sobriety with what? Exactly! A sponsor. Apparently, we humans do well and do better with a faithful, human companion at our side to help us right wrongs and to protect our backs, sometimes protecting us even from ourselves.

Do you remember how many there were on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus on Easter night? Exactly! Two. Yes, they had lost hope, and they were going in the wrong direction, walking away from their hope, even though there were two of them. However, it was in their conversing and debating about all the things that had occurred that they realized that Jesus was walking with them. It was together that they realized that they had to turn around and return to what would give them hope. Could either of them have done that alone?

After the Tuesday evening funeral Mass for Aunt Joan, Uncle Jim looked lost and weary without his beloved of fifty-seven years. In between the sips of lemonade and nibbles at a chicken salad croissant, Uncle Jim told me, “Rob, I don’t know how I will live without her.”

Seven days later, he died on the Tuesday of Holy Week. Apparently, he could not survive without his faithful, human companion.

Are any of us really a lone ranger? We don’t gallop toward the setting sun with, “Hi-ho, Silver, away!” We don’t survive or thrive alone.

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