Grace to you!
Walking by the busy streets of major USA or Chinese cities, one would likely see teens with smartphones in hand, earpiece geared up and fast pacing towards an unknown direction in the name of exploring the game’s map. They are looking for Pokémon. Pokémon Go has become pop culture.
Many have fallen into ditches, collided with pillars, parked or moving cars, or passersby, risking their health and that of others. Isn’t Pokémon frenzy avatar insanity? Not to talk of occult vulnerabilities?
The gratification of a visual world, where one could control one’s destiny and one’s path by a click and a turn seems to come with addictive resonance. Pokémon taps into the spiritual bereavement of postmodern minds; and teens, the digital natives, are the most vulnerable.
I love technology. I love new media creations and indeed a good portion of my research is focused on new media. However, many times I wonder if we have not become prisoners of our own creation.
What Pokémon taps into is a deep-seated yearning of the human heart. I believe it is responding to the emptiness in hearts in need of divine infilling. Also, if we wanted the ability to control the future and have the uncertainties of life find an elixir in the present, then a better enduring plan must be courted.
I find in faith, the answer to that yearning. With faith, physical limitations are trumped by the infinite power of God. Through faith, distance, which is a barrier, is an opportunity. With faith in Jesus, there is the power without boundaries – the authority capable of breaking the barriers to authentic human wholeness.
The grace of this potency of faith in the Christ was dramatized by a soldier, a non-Jew, who knew what real power meant and how from human examples, we can see how God works. The Gospel of Luke 7:1-10 records the beautiful story.
A centurion whose servant was ill asked Jesus for the favor of healing him. He told Jesus: “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health” (Luke 7:8-10).
Gifted with faith, you would realize that with God, there are no barriers. No physical boundaries, limitations or distance can stop what God wants to do. With God all things are possible.
Tap on this faith, the kind the centurion demonstrated, and your satisfaction would be more refreshing than the frenzy of the Pokémon.
Pray with me: Lord, increase my faith. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.