Staring into the sun is not a wise activity. In a very short amount of time one becomes blinded by the brightness. One hardly can miss the irony of loosing one's sight, if only briefly, by fixing one's gaze on the earth's primary source of natural illumination. There are many agents of blindness in nature - human nature that is - such as: fear, prejudice, envy, hatred, greed and even love. It has been said that "love blinds to faults and hatred blinds to virtues." Rarely does one encounter a debate among individuals, experts or not, that does not contain clear instances of blindness to the meaning and intent of the points raised by the opposing side. Perhaps, this posture readies the ground for future conflicts and even atrocities.
While there may be numerous features in the topography of one's reasoning and emotions that obscure the truth in things, the truth remains the desired goal. When Pontius Pilate questioned Jesus concerning his kingship, Jesus responded that he had come into the world to testify to the truth. The truth of the person and of the teaching of Christ, as Jesus himself stated, would bring sight to the blind and blindness to the sighted. Frustration and, finally, resignation regarding the spiritually closed attitude of the majority of the civic and religious leaders represented another kind of cross that Jesus had to bear. Seemingly, in their eyes the Messiah was in a perpetual state of yet to come and never in the circumstance of having arrived. However, not all were blinded by the brilliance of Jesus' truth. For many, this truth would light the way. Men and women who came to have faith in Christ discovered a new understanding of their relationship to God and also who they were in God's eyes. Faith would guide and guard their daily lives illuminating the pathway to eternity. Brightly shines this light today for all believers journeying down the road of life.
Even with the passing of two millennia, the truth of Christ is met still with suspicion and acrimony. Like World War I snipers, secular forces lie-in-wait to attack anything religious rising, ever so slightly, from the trenches. How tragic that so many Christ-like actions filled with good will and carrying such beneficial gifts are viewed through eyes blurred by the cataracts of fear, bias, and error. Current initiatives in evangelization need to be equipped with ministerial wisdom and compassion aimed at overcoming these forces of opposition.
To love with understanding, and without understanding.
To love blindly, and to folly. To see only what is lovable.
To think only on these things. To see the best in everyone
around, their virtues rather than their faults. To see Christ
- Dorothy Day
Gazing at one's life through the lens of Christian faith, one, literally, seeks to put flesh and blood on the Beatitudes. The daily trek is perceived with a vision both human and divine; the light of faith shining on each step. Human weakness, notwithstanding, a pertinacious effort is made to meet every experience in a Christ-like manner. This is a daunting task to be sure. One ambulates with the uneven steps of a backwoods tracker while constantly being pursued by the cameras and microphones of a mordant media. Yet the good work has to be done. There is nothing feckless about the Christian faith. It must be present and accounted for. The witness of Christians can chart for a threatened world a successful course through the rough seas of so many divisive and potentially violent creeds.
As is common with the birth of a new century, pressing moral issues and murky cultural trends arise: disturbing questions regarding the impact of developments in areas such as emerging technologies and social engineering occasion debate. The need to see issues clearly is acute. Throughout his ministry, Our Lord strove to influence the free will of humankind toward serving God by directing one's interrelationships toward love, compassion, and justice. Although one may have to confront people who suffer from a lack of reason or of good will, one must live with a steady faithfulness to Christ so that as many as possible may be reached and, it is hoped, open their eyes to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
back to top | home