Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vision: the art of seeing the invisible

In everything, whether it is a thing sensed or a thing known, God Himself is hidden within. - St. Bonaventure

Gospel text (Mt 13,10-17):
The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

In our Gospel today Jesus concentrates on our response to Him in our little choices.

I believe that the key to today's passage, then, is that we mistakenly prefer the dramatic and the convincing so that we do not have to take any real responsibility for our choices. We adopt a position or a role and identify ourselves narrowly by that stance. We harden our hearts by sticking to our guns, refusing to find new growth in what Jesus has to show us and to say to us in the here and now: just as those who encountered Jesus in the New Testament, most notably the Pharisees and other leaders, we hear but do not understand, we see but refuse the obvious message. We reject change, what is coming to be, growth, today's revelation of who God is and who He calls us to be in the light of that understanding. We avoid risk; we resist trusting the Lord and His love, a mature relationship with God, and the love that lets nothing stand in the way of our being His.

So? We need to go to prayer far more frequently and personally than we do and to become familiar with the Holy Spirit. We must learn to let our faith take over our lives and change us, not just once but in every moment, in every encounter that the Lord sends us --- and that is a constant call to respond anew to His love...

Let us be grateful for our Christian faith, let us be joyous. Let us try to make our relationship with Jesus not a remote one, but as close as possible, as that of those disciples, who were by his side, who saw and heard him. Let us not look at Jesus from today to yesterday, but from today to today; let us actually share his time, a never-ending time. Prayer —to speak with the Lord— and the Eucharist —to receive him—assures us this nearness to him, and makes us really happy while looking at him with the eyes and ears of our faith.

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