I hope that you are enjoying the small reflection book Father Carmichael provided for each of us during this year’s season of Advent and Christmas. The theme of the reflection book this year is: Waiting in Joyful Hope, and I was especially moved and have continued to ponder the reflection for December 7th, What Do You See? The Gospel reading this day was from Matthew 9:27-31. ‘Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” and their eyes were opened.’ The reflection states that, “Conversion begins with the gift of sight we call faith, but that this is not always a comfortable gift. This reflection reminded me of St. John of the Cross’ writing on the four effects that follow after being ‘seen by God’. He writes that God’s gaze cleanses and enriches us, endows us with grace and enlightenment and by the very act of being ‘seen by God’, transforms us into being God’s disciples….if we embrace his look! The blind men in this Gospel were given the gift of sight and embraced their gift when they called out to Jesus; “Son of David have pity on us”! What a gift it must have been to first see Jesus and then to see their family, friends and neighbors for the first time. What an exchange of looks.
O Christ, open our eyes to see you more clearly, to love you more dearly, and to follow you more nearly.
This week during Advent we are given the opportunity to avail ourselves of cleansing and transformation. The two most powerful consist of sitting in peaceful silence before the Exposed Host at Adoration to let the Lord gaze upon you, offering you the opportunity to respond with feelings of faith, love and joy. We have an opportunity this Friday from 8am to 5pm. In addition, the cleansing movement in this dance with the Lord is found upon entering into the mystical realm of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Imagine in one short visit we are invited to visit with our Lord and permit Him to gaze upon us, showering us with the affectionate embrace of love and forgiveness. He invites you to receive, the beneficent offering of taking our transgressions away from us and bringing them into his suffering and now transformed body.