There is a line from scripture that says, Woe to the solitary man. If he falls he has no one to lift him up (Ecclesiastes 4:10).
Scripture also says, And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Heb 10:24-25). The teaching is clear: we must come together each week for Mass and learn to live in deep communion with one another. We are not meant to make this journey alone. We need encouragement and exhortation, food for the journey, and companionship and protection.
In the days of Jesus it was almost unthinkable for a person to make a lengthy journey alone. Once a person left the relative safety of the town, the journey got dangerous. There were robbers lying in wait along the roads just looking for vulnerable targets. For this reason people almost always made journeys in groups.
This is a good image for the spiritual journey we must all make. Alone we are easy targets. We are vulnerable and without help when spiritual demons attack.
Yet another insight says, Feuding brothers reconcile when there is a maniac at the the door.
Somehow I thought of all this when I saw these two videos. They are clever and make the point of partnership or perish, teamwork or terror, love or lose, hang together or hang separately. Yes, woe to the solitary man! How necessary the protection of the flock. How necessary for the herd to stay together.
Archbishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix celebrated Mass with members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Region XIII who gathered at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on Feb. 12, 2020, during their ad Limina Apostolorum visit. (photo: Daniel Ibanez / CNA/EWTN)