As the wave of humanity bobbed along the streets and avenues of New York’s five boroughs, you would hardly have noticed him. A short man buried in the midst of 43,000 marathoners. Having just survived 69 days entombed 700 meters below Chile’s San José copper-gold mine in the Atacama Desert north of Copiapó, Edison Peña, 34, was displaying his own particular passion – running. “Running makes you free” he said.
In a sense Edison’s passion for running was emblematic of his passion for life. So was his love of music.
At 10.13 (CLT) on the morning of Wednesday, October 13, 2010, Edison Peña was brought to the surface of the mine. 24 days after his rescue, alive and free, he ran the New York marathon.
God’s call to be alive and free fills the Church this Advent. ‘I have come that you may have life’, said Jesus, ‘And have it to the full’ (John 10:10). Will humanity, especially the poor and the oppressed, the forgotten and the ridiculed, the excluded and the harassed, get a chance to open their lives to the freedom God brings, the freedom that human justice and tender care brings?
I will praise you Lord, you have rescued me- Psalm 30:1-3, 10-11a, 12
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead,
and restored me to life from those who sink into oblivion.
The Lord listened and had pity.
The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing.
O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever
Out of its sufferings and degradation humanity cries to you, O God. Look kindly upon your people. Lord, our refuge, restore justice to the nations and respect among peoples. May the coming of your Son bring freedom and saving joy. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Paul and Silas, in their prison,- From ‘The slave singing at midnight’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sang of Christ, the Lord arisen,
And an earthquake’s arm of might
Broke their dungeon gates at night.
‘Lord, you are my refuge’ by the Maranatha Singers