Your life depends upon it.

As the story is told, the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes, upon stepping into a bath and noticing that the water level rose, suddenly had such an epiphany that he jumped out of the bath and went running naked through the streets shouting “Eureka!”. What he had realized was that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged and that he had discovered a solution to a previously intractable problem: how to measure the volume of irregularly shaped objects with precision.

Breaking of Bread at Emmaus Caravaggio (1601)

Breaking of Bread at Emmaus
Caravaggio (1601)

The word ‘Eureka’ comes from the Ancient Greek word εὕρηκα heúrēka, meaning “I have found (it)“, which is the first person singular perfect indicative active of the verb heuriskōI find“.

Please remember this; there will be a test later. Well, perhaps not, but what is important for us to consider is what the story of Archimedes represents, how through our lives we are often visited by serendipitous moments, those happy ‘AHA!’ occurrences that suddenly and unexpectedly spring into our consciousness, arriving by all appearances from nowhere. We all have experienced such moments and it is how we react to them and act upon them that are important. It is what we do with the revelation that makes the thought remarkable and the moment more than fleeting.

No matter whom you are or how insignificant you might think of the idea that suddenly pops into your head, if you dismiss it and let it die without expression, it will be lost forever; it may have been of great consequence or small but no one will benefit from it. Consider for a moment how different the world might have been if Archimedes had simply continued with his bath and had sighed a contented “AAH!”

Our faith is often tested and revealed in serendipitous moments and just as any other it is how we react and the action that we take that can and will make the difference.

I recall how the words “Go to church, you fool!” rang so insistent through my befuddled brain at a time when I believed I had no need for God, for His Holy Church, or for any religious foolishness. I tried so hard to resist and I could have, as I had so many times before, but then I would have lost so much joy and happiness. No doubt, my life would have been much worse for wear, and the life that dwells within my soul would be darker, devoid of His light, had I not acted upon the moment and heeded His call.

What might have been different in our lives had the two disciples whose eyes were opened at the breaking of bread in Emmaus, stayed where they were, in fear. Jesus had revealed himself to them and they could have easily believed that they had seen a ghost, dismissed it as a hallucination, and agreed to tell no one, for fear of being laughed at and ridiculed. Fortunately for us they ran back to the apostles and told them “what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.” [Lk 24:35]

Live your faith – and act as if your life depends upon it. It does.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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