For two weeks the world held its breath.
For two weeks we tried to picture twelve boys and a young soccer coach entombed in darkness.
And for two days we marveled at the courage of their rescuers, especially the diver Saman Gunan, who died in the rescue attempt, just 38 years old.
The BBC called this “a remarkable story of friendship, human endurance—and the lengths some people will go to save someone else's child.”
But as we gather for Mass this morning, we recognize that it’s something more. The rescue effort, and the sacrifice of Saman Gunan, should bring to mind another rescue and another sacrifice. We hear about it in our second reading today.
“In Christ,” St. Paul writes, “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.”
We’ve heard the word “redemption” so many times that perhaps we forget the drama behind it. We have been freed from the darkness of our sins by someone who came to find us and to lead us into the light.
And just as the Thai diver died in the darkness of the cave, so Jesus died in the course of our rescue—and stayed in a cave until our salvation was completed by his Resurrection.
Those twelve boys had families, with whom they will soon be reunited. Their rescuers didn’t take them home with them. But our rescuer, St. Paul says, has adopted us as his own. We emerged into the light as members of God’s own family.
And In his first letter, St. Peter calls us to proclaim the great work of our Saviour, who called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
I’ve read some on-line comments about the possible negative effects that their ordeal may have on the boys’ psychology. The best antidote to that is gratitude; I hope they will spend the rest of their lives giving thanks for their rescue and their rescuers.
And we are called to do the same. Jesus sends us out to the world, just as he sent the Twelve, to share gratefully with others the Good News of our rescue and our Rescuer.