Dear Parents, Alumnae, & Friends,
As you know, I grew up in Eastern North Carolina. In the early 1950s, life was much slower than today. We had a municipal law then called the "Blue Law" which prohibited all commerce on Sundays. Nothing was open on Sunday - no drug stores, gas stations, grocery stories absolutely nothing. This indeed made the town of Greenville, NC exceptionally quiet. After Church and a big dinner my mother would say, "Let's ride out for a while." That meant "Let's all pile in the 1957 Chevy and go to my Aunt Helen's house to pick her and my cousins up." We would "ride out" in the country looking at the crops.
I never understood how these trips were taken on the very same roads that we rode on every day; but, on Sunday, the fields took on a peace that was not there during the week. I listened to my mother and Aunt Helen chat about their world - politics, tobacco prices at the warehouse, corn fields, and vegetable gardens. We did not listen to the radio, news, or music; we just looked at our world. "Riding out" might bore kids today to absolute tears, but I learned so much while listening and looking. I also learned about the greatness of God's creation. It was a very little world compared to the one we live in today, but when you quietly observed, how wondrous it became.
Fr. Larry Gillick, a Jesuit from Creighton University, explains Sunday's Gospel like this:
"Those who deal with problems associated with sight and seeing, have two basic categories. One is blindness, which is not being able to see anything. The other is known as 'Low-Vision' or 'Legally Blind,' wherein there is some light or object recognition.
Persons having some limited vision have a little added problem. They can see light and dark, or varying degrees of recognition of objects and other persons. Their problem is that, because they can see a little bit, they easily can assume that they can see more than they really can. The result is that they less fearfully move about and so more easily bump into or trip over or knock over somethings or someones. They can become too confident or trusting in what they can see and less aware of what they cannot.
The folks of Nazareth were blinded by their rigidity and their seeing Jesus as limited to their own expectations. Jesus became a stumbling object, because they THOUGHT they could see who he was, but could not because of their low-vision. They could see a little bit and so they thought they could see more than they could.
Jesus provokes us to admit we have low vision about most things and especially about the God of Revelation. Faith is a way of living with the admission that God offers us little glimpses and the grace to see them and trust in what is behind and beyond them."
When I was a little girl I used to wonder what made the very same roads that we saw each day seem so special on Sundays when we were "riding out." I think the same is true today. Take your time to slow down and ask God to give you clear vision to see His miracles - along a crowded city street, on congested Highway 95, or at home in your own backyard.
Will you pray with me?
Dear Father Almighty God,
Open our eyes. Take our fear that blinds us away. Help us to see each other in love and mercy.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
I love you all,