May the Eyes of our Hearts Be Enlightened

Week of May 28, 2017

St. Paul has a profound insight as to how we are to stay connected to Christ.  He invites our hearts to be enlightened.   For this to happen he proposes that we learn about the hope that belongs to this calling of following Jesus.  Hope invites us to live in this world knowing we are to stay focused on eternity.  When we do, we realize that even in death there is life.  We are also to learn about the riches of His glory.  His riches come from His surrender of all riches of this world.  This happens profoundly on the cross.  His riches are found in the hungry and the homeless, the peacemakers and those who mourn.  We are also to learn of the surpassing greatness of His power.  This power comes with incredible restraint.  As the Son of God, He tells the disciple in the garden to put back his sword.  Weapons were not to be used to defend His power.  To Pontius Pilate He says that he would have no power over Jesus unless it was given by His father.  In the desert He is tempted by the devil who will give Him power over all of these kingdoms, yet Jesus does not submit.  This is where the eyes of our hearts are to lead us.

I go to the eye doctor quite a bit these days.  Every time it is the same routine.  He checks the pressure of the transplanted cornea, he looks at the stitches and sends me on my way.  I am anticipating with great excitement the next phase of recovery when I will be looking at eye charts each time he takes a stitch out.  I will hopefully see increased vision and clarity. We are invited to do the same with the eyes of our hearts.

To see with our hearts we must first begin with quieting down the mind.  The mind likes to clutter the vision of the heart, with judgment of what we see, of rationalization and with the logic of this world.  To see with the heart we must discipline the mind to not have control; when we do this the eyes of our hearts can see with compassion.  The heart is a place of love.  Seeing with forgiveness and mercy reside in this vision.  To get there, the mind of wanting retaliation and passing judgment has to be still and quiet.  The heart is also a place of great pain.  The Blessed Mother prays as her heart is pierced with pain when her only son is crucified.  We can allow the pain to clear our vision, but we cannot allow it to lead us to resentment or bitterness.  This too is a lifelong discipline.

On this Solemnity of the Ascension it is exciting to be commissioned to go out and make disciples of all nations.  This is a powerful mission.  For it to happen we must trust we can make a difference.  Yet what we bring is not success, but one thing, a savior, Jesus Christ who is crucified.  We bring His hope, His power, His glory.

May the vision of our hearts be 20/20.

Reverend John J. Ouper