Sunday, March 22, 2020

Can you really see? (Sunday homily)

The readings this Sunday could be summarized this way: 
there is seeing, and then there is really seeing. 

So, in the first reading, Samuel, despite being a faithful servant 
of God, still doesn’t see well enough. 
Then, of course, we have the Gospel. Who can really see there?

Jesus can. He knows exactly what this man needs, 
so he not only heals him, but he does it in a particular way, 
that he knows will be most helpful to this man.

And of course, the blind man sees. All the rest turn out to be blind.

What about the Apostles who are witnessing this? 
Their vision is cloudy, 
and this episode is aimed at helping them see, too.
Jesus is counting on them to be his true priests and true witnesses.
By Pentecost, they will be ready.

That leaves you and me? Do we see – really see? 
So often – and I am as guilty as anyone – 
we focus on all the wrong things.

So many of us are stuck at home, 
and at some point, we might feel sorry for ourselves, or get cranky. 
When I was a kid, I’d have had a bad attitude!
So maybe some of our younger folks are going through that, too.

Try to remember this is hard on almost everyone, 
and likely harder on many others than it is on you.
Of course you and I are unspeakably sad 
about not being together for Holy Mass. 
So I’m happy to share Mass with you in my little chapel at the rectory, 
and know this is happening everywhere. 
We may feel cut off, but we really aren’t! Remember that!

So despite all, let’s keep positive; that’s important.

Some people are tremendously worked up about this.
Maybe they fear God’s wrath, or the end of the world.
Here’s my response. First, bad things happen all the time; 
but they mostly happen somewhere else, to other people.

Second, we’ve been through way worse things, even in memory, 
such as the Spanish Flu 100 years ago, and two World Wars. 

Plagues and disease used to be constant threats, everywhere – 
and in many places, still are – 
but thanks to sanitary water and vaccines and antibiotics 
and other wonderful fruits of the talents God gave us,
we’ve forgotten about all that.

These trials remind us how much we take for granted, 
and how fragile this life really is. 
Maybe this tribulation will help us see things a lot more clearly. 
To see what really matters, and what is trivial noise and distraction. 
God, please deliver us from this trial! 
And grant that you and I can see what we really need to see. 

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