4th Sunday of Lent
March 22, 2020
One of the most famous stories of a miraculous cure for blindness involved Saint Padre Pio. A little Italian girl named Gemma was born with an extremely rare congenital birth defect: she had no pupils in her eyes. Physician records at the time made it clear that experts in the field had told her she was incapable of sight. Yet, after a nun brought this girl (at the age of seven) to Padre Pio that he might pray with her, she did regain her sight, yet continued to have no pupils! As an adult, Gemma continued to testify to the miracle all her life (for more information about the scientific debate about this miracle, search online or see http://www.spiritdaily.org/AmazingPio_cures.htm to begin your own investigation).
We live in a world that professes to see and yet in many ways is really so very blind. We have made dazzling technological progress such as being able to go into the far reaches of the universe and the beginning of time as well as to understand how to find planets around other suns. We are even learning how to see and to manipulate the smallest elemental particles of matter in an attempt to build a quantum computer. So, in some ways, we as a society see further and deeper into this world than ever before.
And yet we as a society cannot even see the humanity of an unborn human child...because we simply don't want to see it. We can turn an invisible eye to the disempowered around us as a society... banks get bailed out and the people have to pay for it and society calls this just. This list goes on and on. Do we see what we want to see?
Do we have selective eyesight? It really depends on what pair of glasses we are wearing. Now I know some of you have perfect eyes, but try to imagine what some of us see without correction... a very blurry world. We rely on contacts, surgery or glasses! If we put on the glasses of faith and view things through the lens of the scriptures and the church, the world is going to look very different from someone who does not see through these glasses. Without the glasses of faith, a story like Gemma’s cannot possibly be true even if it can be proved that it happened because it does not fit our preconceived ideas of how the world really works.
When I read a secular newspaper or website (and there is nothing wrong with this), I am seeing the world through their eyes. But, if this is the only way I see the world, then I am going to have a distorted picture of how things really are. This view must be balanced. Always I will keep my glasses of faith handy, so I can put them on and then see how things REALLY are.
We will see God in this world if we are wearing the right kind of glasses. That troublesome neighbor, coworker or relative may be hiding God in disguise. The trial that you are undergoing may make you feel that God has abandoned you, but put on the glasses of faith, and by looking at the crucifix, your sufferings are seen for what they really are, a means to unite you with God and for carrying out your personal mission on earth.