1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a Eph 5:8-14 Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38
Click here for today’s readings.
A long-time friend wrote me a St. Valentine’s day card with this reflection: “Isn’t it a wonderful gift God gave us – a heart that could love just like his?!” How true this is. The readings today have a common theme of “eyes to see as God does.” I believe this means to see others and situations as God does, shall we say outward, yet it also looks inward, because God gazes on our deepest self with love. Samuel, both the last Judge (charismatic leader) and prophet (speaks on behalf of God), is sent to the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem to find the second king of Israel to replace Saul. Samuel has no idea how to choose, except to have the heart of God and see what God sees. When the youngest and most improbable of the seven sons is called from tending sheep, presumably overlooked by his father Jesse, Samuel’s eyes are open, the heart of God is now expanding as his heart, and David is chosen and anointed.
To love as God does is possible, we have to attune ourselves to listen, look, and I believe the best action is given us over and over again in Jesus, who not only knew but did God’s “will”—which is what is deepest in God’s heart—us. Life has changed since Jesus’ times more than 2000 years ago, but the message remains true: we still have those same hearts that can love like his. When our hearts hear the beat of God’s heart in us, our eyes behold God’s loving delight in us and others, and we find we are truly disciples of Jesus and living in God’s heart.
Jesus in the Gospel cures a blind man on the Sabbath. Filled with God’s heart/love/forgiveness/joy/peace…the people did not recognize this blind man’s transition to see. The Pharisees say it is a sinful act because of the sabbath, and the cured man says “he is a prophet.” They threw him out. God’s heart in Jesus found him and called him to have the heart of God. The great question for the man and for us is: Will You Believe? Will You Live It? Be faithful to it? The cured man utters the response I think we all want to make: “I do Lord.” Though we know nothing more of the man born blind, yet I can only wonder with confidence that he witnessed to all he met with God’s heart overflowing. At the same time, he knew God in his own heart, and came to understand himself and others as God does. That is what I would like to do and be. That is what I would like and pray for each and every student in her or his own journey. Rough times, good times, hard times, uncertain times…nothing is more significant than to love as God does: myself and all others.
JJ Mueller, SJ
Professor of Theological Studies