In the video below there is a man who is easily talked out of his meal by Yoda, the Star Wars Jedi Master. At some point however, when the Jedi Master tries to rook him out of his Pepsi, the man has hit bottom and realizes that this is a bridge too far. He refuses to give way any longer.
I wonder if this is not an image for Christians in their battle against the world and the devil. Indeed, too often we are willing to give way to those in the world (and the Devil himself) who ask us to surrender our dignity, to make compromises, and to give way to sin. So easily we surrender our serenity to a world that provokes anxiety and anger; we surrender our chastity to a world that exults lust; we give over our generosity to a world that instills a fear that makes us hoard; we hand over our prophecy to a world that demands our silence; we neglect our souls and hand over its care to a world that demands we be fixated on the body, on good looks, and endless obsession with our health; we hand over our prayer and the celebration of the sacraments to a world that demands all our time.
In effect the world and the devil say to us, “All you have is mine, now hand it over.”
At some point in the commercial the man wakes up to what is happening and he stops handing things over. For him (and for the commercial’s creators) it is the Pepsi. But what of us? Have you reached this point? How? When? What was the bridge too far? For many addicts this wake up point is called “hitting bottom” when the insanity of addiction just costs too much. As the insanity becomes powerfully evident, they are finally willing to say “no,” or “enough.”
Perhaps too the wake up moment comes when we finally begin to see that the world asks too much, takes too much, and offers nothing of real or lasting value in return. Perhaps we too, like the man in the commercial, start to see the lies, the deception, and the theft that takes place, as the world tries to have us ignore our true and substantial hunger and give away the Eucharistic meal and Holy Communion that is our baptismal right.
In the commercial Yoda tries mesmerizing the man, saying of the meal, “You do want!” And thus also the world and the devil say of God, “You do not want.” As if to say, “Your desires are not about God and the things waiting for you in heaven, they are about about me….give me your heart, your loyalty, your life.”
When the Man in the commercial does finally awake it is about drink that he awakens. And here I am reminded of the Woman at the well. Jesus finally reached her through thirst, as well, and taught, Everyone who drinks this water (the world) will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (Jn 4:13-14). For her, and for the man, in the commercial it is thirst that awakens them to the lies and deceptions of the world.
Note finally of the commercial that the world and the devil (here symbolized by the Jedi Master Yoda) do not give up easily. The man must fight for the drink that is his. He must fight to take back what the devil and the world stole from him. In the end he wins, and so will we, for Jesus Christ is stronger than any worldly force. The cross wins, it always wins.
So fight on, do not let the world and the devil steal from you. Fight with Jesus for the drink and the meal that is really and truly yours.
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