How do we see?
…and their eyes were opened. Matthew 9:30
One morning, after a young couple had moved into a new neighborhood, the wife looked out the window and noticed her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry isn’t very clean,” she said.
Her husband didn’t reply, and every time the neighbor hung her wash, his wife made the same comment. About a month later, the woman was surprised to see clean wash on her neighbor’s line. “Well, she finally learned how to wash!” she said.
Her husband replied, “I got up early and cleaned our windows.”
In today’s gospel, two men are cured of physical blindness. But other types of blindness can afflict us too. We can train our eyes to see only what we want to see. We can let our eyes get clouded over because of past perceptions and prejudices, hurts and slights that we’re still harboring, or an attitude that our way is the only way.
There are many legends about St. Nicholas, whose feast we celebrate today, stories of his generous giving to everyone. Perhaps he was able to give to all because he had a wide and clear vision; he could see the goodness of everyone, despite their circumstances.
DAILY PRACTICE: Wash your windows today in preparation for the celebration of Christmas. As you wash them, ask yourself: what smudges and streaks might I need to eliminate so that I can see the fullness, the beauty, and the goodness of everyone?
ADVENT PRAYER: God Who Restores Our Sight, you respond to our every need, even those we might not see. Help me to see as completely as you do and to respond as generously as you do.
From: ADVENT 2013. Daily reflections, practices and prayers.
The Promise of Peace. Janet Schaeffler, OP.