Sunday, March 26, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.” — Anonymous.

The Second Scrutiny comes alive for our elect, as they reflect with the community upon real seeing; that is, seeing what occurs even deeper than seeing with our physical, human eyes.

You see (understand) that many who see (vision) with 20/20 sight are completely blind in the spirit. That kind of seeing (inner vision) requires openness of the spirit and a willingness to be children of the light.

True seeing is common to every faith. Interior blindness — lack of real sight or insight — happens when people close their spirit to the kind of truths that can only be known by the spirit.

In the story of the “Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a famous quote says it perfectly: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

The Gospel today provides us with the story of the man born blind and healed by Jesus. It is a story of seeing and blindness. The double meanings go back and forth between physical and spiritual seeing, and physical and spiritual blindness.

The blind man has both kinds of blindness, but through healing receives both kinds of sight. The Pharisees have physical sight, but once again display their incredible spiritual blindness; they never see God’s work at hand before them. They never see that Jesus is Messiah and the fulfillment.

Rather, in their spiritual blindness, they condemn, ridicule, punish, and use the law as an excuse to hate and destroy. Nothing good comes from them in this story except by comparison; they show how God-filled are the actions of Jesus.

The climactic truth is finally expressed in the Pharisees’ own question before Jesus: “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind (physical), you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ (while choosing spiritual blindness/stubbornness) so your sin remains.”

Why is seeing with the heart so difficult? Why do we resist? Why can’t we surrender? Why can’t we trust love rather than to trust fear?

Jesus puts one simple question to the man whose sight is restored: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

If our answer, like his, is yes, then we will see.

That yes, however, means that we believe in his teachings, his example, his way of life, his values, his surrendering to God, his unequivocal yes to loving always, his preference for the poor and marginalized, his refusal to be blind followers of the law.

Yes to Jesus is yes to seeing!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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