Fr. Stan’s Article
Have you ever played the children’s game “What do I see?” Players try to guess what the main player is focusing on (usually something very small). The game actually helps children to pay close attention to things around them. I’ve been thinking about this game since my cataract surgery on my right eye last week. Everything went well and now out of one eye I see color and objects very clearly. Hopefully in two or three weeks I’ll have the same vision in my left eye. It’s amazing to realize how much I may have been missing for many years.
Our scripture readings for the season of Easter seem to be presenting us with a spiritual version of “what do I see?” The various writers are presenting us different details about Jesus’ Resurrection through the reactions of the Apostles and disciples. We can focus on the empty tomb, the burial clothes, the absence of the posted guards, the stone at the entrance to the tomb, the appearances of Jesus, the upper room, the locked door, the wounds of Jesus, the breath of the Spirit, the commands to forgive and witness, and the consoling words of peace. Whatever we will focus on will help us to grow in our understanding of the reality of the resurrection as well as our belief in Jesus saving love. Our post- Easter task is to grow in faith and understanding so that like the Apostles and disciples we can be credible witnesses to God’s activity in our lives. Our parish continues to invite us to have a true encounter with Jesus so that what we say and do will bring others to Him and assure them of God’s love and mercy. Are we looking in the right places? Does our spiritual vision need correcting? Now is the time to take another and better look.
Even though we all may be looking at the same thing, often there are many different interpretations based on our experiences, biases, backgrounds. A half a glass of water can be both half-empty as well as half-full. People can be far-sighted or near-sighted. We need to be open to seeing as others see. This possibility exists in community when we are able to listen to each other to better understand one another. That takes a lot of humility that acknowledges that the lens through which I see the world isn’t yours. When we act together for a common good, we recognize ourselves as God’s children. Sometimes we diminish God and His ability to love and forgive us (and others) by how we see ourselves. Jesus needs to be the standard and incarnation of God among us. If we’ve missed the freeing power of His death and resurrection, then it’s time to remove that spiritual cataract.
Next weekend we will be celebrating First Communions here at St. Mary’s at all the Masses. Keep our youngsters and their families in your prayers. Let them experience the joy and value of Jesus’ gift of Himself in the Eucharist through our weekly participation in this sacrament.
COVID-19 continues to be the headline news especially here in Michigan. Although people are receiving vaccinations, there is a spike in cases among a younger population. We are doing our best to keep you and our staff safe and healthy. Please continue following our protocols. After one year of the pandemic it’s important to look back and perhaps find some silver-linings for which we can be grateful. Pause and reflect on those meaningful moments. People report that this was a time for them to engage in activities that they’ve long put off; and that they actually grew closer to family and nature. St. Paul reminds us to give God thanks for everything.
Easter peace and joy,
Fr. Stan Ulman