The Fourth Sunday of Pentecost in the Maronite Rite
1 Corinthians 2, 11-16 & Luke 10, 21-24
June 5, 2016 at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma
A couple of years ago my grand-nephews were visiting me, and I took them to the Museum of Osteology just up the road from here. This is not the sort of museum that would normally attract my attention. A building full of bones does not exactly excite my curiosity, but I trusted the recommendation of a friend who had been there a few weeks earlier with her grandchildren. It is not a very imposing or impressive place like the grand Natural History Museum here in Norman. I think the boys were mostly cooperative with my idea because they did not know what Osteology was, and because they had trusted me with a trip to Andy Alligators the day before, they liked it a lot.
I was hesitant trying not to spoil the experience by acting so, but we went in, paid the price of admission, and as soon as we stepped through the door, they went wild. Standing at the entrance was what seemed to me to be a huge pile of bones wired together in a somewhat thoughtful way resembling nothing I could identify. Immediately both boys pointed and shouted out the name of some aquatic creature I don’t think I could name if I saw it live. For more than an hour they raced around the place running back to me now and then insisting that I come and see another arrangement of bones which they insisted with great delight was some other creature about which I had no knowledge much less interest.
Whenever I hear Jesus praising the wisdom of children, I always think of this experience. Those boys and every child take the most simple yet thrilling delight in things I sometimes cannot see, but they can. A simple and pure mind and heart can receive truths that a learned mind cannot take in. It is possible to be too clever. In these few verses of Luke’s Gospel, those of us who think we are so smart, wise, and educated are called to task for our failure to see. What we are invited to do is see what God sees, and perhaps even see as God sees. It’s all about seeing and sight. It teases us out of biological optical impulses into the sight or to the eyes of faith.
In the verses just before these, Luke has the first missionaries, the first ones sent out in the name of Jesus Christ returning and all excited because of what they have seen happen. As they say to Jesus, “Even the demons are subject to us because of your name!” Then Jesus says: “Yes, I have seen Satan fall like lightening from the sky.” Then he warns them that their joy should not be over what they have accomplished, but because of who they are. “Rejoice”, he says, “because your names are written in heaven.” Then Jesus breaks into prayer with these verses of praise to God for what God is revealing to them, and then he turns to those disciples, and pronounces them Blessed because they can see who he is as the presence and the revelation of God himself. They can see what those learned and scholarly, wise and self-perpetuating Scribes and Pharisees cannot see.
As we listen to this Gospel proclaimed, we must hope for and desire that kind of sight. We must open our minds and then our hearts to see the glory of God in all creation and in all God’s children, All God’s children: not just the ones we like are who think or look like us. God could not possibly see any difference between us. We must see as God sees, and we must see what God sees if we are to be counted among the Blessed. From flowers to clouds, from simple acts of kindness to great moments of generosity there is cause for rejoicing.
Feel the joy of Jesus as he breaks into praise of the Father over the fact that these disciples can see with the eyes of faith what is before them. Look today with the eyes of faith at what is placed upon this altar. See with simple eyes of a child what bread and wine are because of what we do in the name of Jesus Christ. Then, see with the eyes of faith what happens to us who receive the Word and the Sacrament of his presence.
Count your blessing. Know your Blessedness. Be a blessing in his name.