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There’s a film showing at the moment, called THE WAY. It features Martin Sheen and his son. His son produces it. Sheen you might remember spent a semester a few years ago at NUIG. He’s a very committed catholic and this film with such a title has as you might expect has a spiritual and religious background.
The Way refers to that well known Spanish pilgrimage called the Camino de Compostello where people walk various distances to reach the Shrine of St . James.
The film which is a bit long, I felt, centers around a father son relationship and what can and often is an awkward one. In this case the son decides to travel the world and find himself
(Another recent attempt is Eat Love Pray. http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2612429312/tt0879870.)
He is out of contact for sometime until the father gets a call to say the son has an accident and dies while doing this walk. So the father sets off to get the body and feels compelled to do the walk himself in his son’s place. Along the way he feels closer to the son and comes to understand him better as he grieves his loss. He also bumps into many others and theses encounters are far from ideal or easy but again as the walk progresses all along the way become aware that each one has a stone in their own shoes…all have their own troubles and they soften to each other and become more understanding and compassionate.
It’s a kind of Easter or Ascension or Pentecost story offering hope, faith and love where these are hard to find in life.
Like the father son relationship our own relationship and understanding of Jesus is not always easy. It’s only by walking the road of life that we get glimpses of God at work .Like the disciples we seek certainties, but divine mysteries are not to be scheduled or controlled.
As we walk with others, the way is not always easy. We bump of each other. We frustrate and annoy each other. But from time to time we too glimpse each others struggle and we soften and become a bit more compassionate towards each other.
Again like the disciples we’d like to get away from the pain and keep our heads in the clouds but God is not there. God is firmly grounded where we are. Our place is always on Terra Firma too.
Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?
There sometimes we again resemble disciples….
they worshiped, but they doubted.
That’s reality and other’s no escaping it. It’s not always pretty. Sometimes it is but that’s where Jesus is too. Like Martin Sheen’s sense of the presence of his dead son we too sometimes unexpectedly and in unusual ways get a sense of the Lord as we go our way. And His!