Experience One Body while seeing fireworks this 4th of July

Experience One Body while seeing fireworks this 4th of July July 3, 2024

Seeing fireworks is always an outstanding experience. I can recall my childhood memories of walking to the fireworks with crowds of cousins. We sat on blankets while we all looked up, all felt the rolling vibrations, and all felt our mouths fall open with awe as we enjoyed one beautiful blast after another.  To this day, each time I see fireworks, I feel particularly close to those around me.

Research on unity and shared experiences

Well, research explains why this occurs. When two people participate in a shared experience, their bodies physiologically synchronize. Their pupils might dilate or constrict in similar ways, their hearts might beat in similar patterns, and their breathing might occur in similar waves. Check out this HubermanLab podcast for more information about these studies.

Catholic view on unity

Now let’s relate this to the Catholic faith. We hear in Acts of the Apostles that we are One Body, and when one part of the body hurts, the others suffer (Acts 9:4-5). This might seem like an intangible reality as we look around, recognizing distinct bodies belonging to each individual we see. Yet the Biblical words are supported by science, which again, shows that we share each other’s physiology.

Shared experience of Jesus Christ

Next time you’re having a difficult time with someone, try to refocus your thoughts on a common, outside experience—maybe a movie or performance, or maybe Jesus Christ, hanging upon the crucifix out of love for us. When you do so, notice your body’s physiological state. Feel your heart beat, your breath go in and out, and even notice the movements of your muscles. Now re-evaluate the situation with the other person. Have you come to some common grounds? Do you feel a sense of peace and, at least a bit, of unity?

We are One

If you go see fireworks this 4th of July, think about all the other viewers as you stare up at the bright-lit sky and feel fireflies swarm around you. Do you think there might be some truth in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 that though many, we are one?

Fireworks and unity in Jesus Christ

Fireworks are an enjoyable source of unity, and so are other activities, including, like I mentioned, contemplation of Jesus Christ. This 4th of July, as you watch those beauty blasts with awe, think about how awesome God our creator is. Not only can we rejoice in fireworks together, but we can also view the mountains, the sunset, the enormous redwood trees, and the hermit crab making its way along the beach. When we do so, we become physiologically more similar to others, becoming united in a real, tangible, and even measurable way. This 4th of July, let’s rejoice in the freedom that we find in Christ who unites us all in One Body.

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