It was fifty years ago tomorrow when I remember watching my family’s old black and white television, staring at a sight that absolutely mesmerized me- the surface of the moon! As a ten-year-old, to see Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon, it was a remarkable moment that inspired awe, wonder, and pure excitement. I remember for months afterward, I dreamt about becoming an astronaut and to explore space. In fact, my great love for Star Trek as a young boy was fed, in part, by the remarkable achievement that we will all celebrate tomorrow.
As I have grown older, I often marvel at what the human person is capable of doing, always under the power of grace, to improve the common life of all humanity. We cannot forget that the technology that allowed the Apollo missions to be successful also powered a generation of technological changes throughout society, improving the lives of countless people. Think of all the improvements in medicine, communication and even basic health care that we enjoy now and were unimaginable 50 years ago. Many of these advancements were possible because women and men devoted their talent and energy to causes that are meant to elevate human life, support the common good and improve society for the sake of all its members.
What world could we have if we each lived a similar spirit of heroism, self-sacrifice and a desire to improve the lives of all God’s children and not just our own?
Tomorrow evening, as you look up at the moon, remember that it was used by the Fathers of the Church to describe Our Lady’s presence since she remains the light that leads us through the darkness to her Son, the true Light of all creation. As we celebrate the achievements of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the entire team of Apollo 11, let us gaze upon the moon and take up the challenge in our own age, to bring light into darkness by striving for excellence, heroism and selfless service in everything we do.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.