Many years ago I was proclaiming the gospel at a Sunday morning mass when an elderly woman became non-responsive. Her adult daughter began screaming. It was a small church filled to capacity and it took awhile to calm the young woman and address the situation. I learned a valuable lesson that day: it only takes one person to create a panic. Actually, it only takes one person to have an idea that eventually becomes Apple Computer, Google, a symphony, a war, a theology, or the cure to a disease. Consider for a moment the amazing power of one single person.
Most of us go through life feeling power-less. It is natural to feel like a useless cog when stuck in a relentless traffic jam, or battling some bureaucracy or flummoxed by some unsolvable family dilemma. President Obama, Jeff Bezos, Steven Spielberg are powerful. By contrast I am small, insignificant and beleaguered. This week while preaching at the daily mass on the above reading from Saint Paul, I found myself fascinated by the enormity of his proposal. Paul is stating that at a moment in history there was a disconnect between one individual and God and that crack began an aftershock of cosmic division. One person began this destruction and through yet another single person harmony was restored between the human family and the Creator. What he is actually describing is the extraordinary power each human person has for good and for destruction.
I wonder how different our culture would be if we all considered the fantastic significance we bring to our world. How would our communities be altered if we displayed a consistent countenance of encouragement, acceptance and inclusion? What would be the shape of each new day if we believed ourselves capable of strength, wisdom and ingenuity? Saint Paul states that a single person made a universal mess and another one cleaned it up! And the Son of God describes us as made in the image and likeness of the greatest force of positive energy in the cosmos. If we could just believe that each day brings refreshed opportunity to improve the atmosphere of the planet, then maybe, finally, the world might just become a more peaceful, more loving, more holy place.