Quite unsuspected by you and me, apparently this week a group of scientists came within a billionth of a second of the Big Bang.
The excited announcement by a spokesman for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research took us into a story about the world’s biggest atom smasher, all 27km of it underground on the border of Switzerland and France.
According to reports, using just half of its charge of tetraelectronvolts, it triggered collisions among the 20 billion protons that scientists hope will give them a clue to how we were created in the beginning.
The only bit of all this terminology I could comprehend was a reference to “cathedral-sized chambers” and a search for evidence for a missing link leading to a so-called “God-particle.”
We’re quite familiar with the language of mysteries of faith. There are huge mysteries of science, too.
Also taking place in Europe this month and next is a rare public showing of something more visible than atomic particles. The best and most relevant sciences have not been able to throw light on its mystery. It’s the long strip of fabric, preserved in the cathedral of Turin, which is widely believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. (www.shroudstory.com)
The Church makes no pronouncement about its authenticity, nor does it of that other extraordinary image, a similar phenomenon not made by human hands or art, imprinted on the cloak of a Mexican peasant in 1531. (wikipedia, Our Lady of Guadalupe).
Both of these images lie beyond scientific explanation. Both continue to have an deep effect on the faith of millions. But their mystery is vastly surpassed by the greatest ever miracle of supernatural power, the resurrection of Jesus Christ in his human body.
He’s revealed as the very image of the invisible God. He’s the one who gives the world its meaning, human beings their hope and the scientists their protons to accelerate.
There’s plenty of wonder and excitement in the mysteries of Easter for all to share!