Reflection on 4th Sunday in Lent: 22nd March 2020

How do we see?

To the fearful eye, all is threatening. When you look toward the world in a fearful way, all you see and concentrate on are things that can damage and threaten you. The fearful eye is always besieged by threat.

To the greedy eye, everything can be possessed. A greedy person can never enjoy what they have, because they are always haunted by that which they do not yet possess. Greed generates a driven and atrophied possessiveness. Greed can never engage presence. Having has become the sinister enemy of being.

To the judgmental eye, everything is closed in definitive frames. The judgmental eye sees things in terms of lines and squares. It is always excluding and separating, and therefore it never sees in a compassionate or celebratory way.

To the loving eye, everything is real. Kathleen Raine, a Scottish poet, says that unless you see a thing in the light of love, you do not see it at all. Love is the light in which we see light. Love is the light in which we see each thing in its true origin, nature, and destiny. If we could look at the world in a loving way, then the world would rise up before us full of invitation, possibility and depth. The loving eye can even coax pain, hurt, and violence toward transfiguration and renewal.

Vision is central to your presence and creativity. To recognize how you see things can bring you self-knowledge and enable you to glimpse the wonderful treasures your life secretly holds.

John O’Donohue : Anam Cara Adapted.

How do we see the reality of our living with the coronavirus in our midst?
Can we say with the blind man in today’s gospel: “I was blind but now I see.”

“As life seeks out its new normal, I pray that we are able to apply the lessons of this exceptionally barren Lenten journey to redefine “normal” so that it includes more gratitude, appreciation, service, mercy and joy. Returning to our ordinary patterns of life is something that we all hope will occur very soon. Let us bring the memories of these moments with us into the future so that we better value and cherish what may have become under-appreciated opportunities of experiencing God’s presence in every aspect of our lives. This disease will not get the best of us; rather, we pray that we will use it to bring out the best in us.”

Archbishop Wilton Gregory. Washington. Adapted