There is an old saying that has always intrigued me: “Tell me where
you stand and I’ll tell you what you see”. I like the saying very much because it helps me realize how my “vision” is limited in so many ways
by my experiences, which are themselves finite. For me, this statement
has many applications. For example, most of us choose friends and colleagues who are like ourselves. We may read the same news reports, listen to the same news shows, belong to the same church community, support the same sports teams, and live in similar neighborhoods. In
many ways, our “vision” may be similar.
Today, we are all “standing” in the middle of a different and very unfamiliar place. Because of COVID, we are all looking out at the world differently than 6 months ago. Everyone, without exception, has been affected. One of the things we do not see clearly is an end to the pandemic and a return to what we considered normal from several months past.
Every day, when the weather permits, I walk from our house in Hayes Square out around the Harborwalk, and across Chelsea St. to Saint Mary’s Church and Parish Center. The walk usually takes around 20 minutes. That is now changed. I need at least 30 – 35 minutes for the walk. You could conclude that I am simply walking slower and that applies to Lily, too. Maybe…. However, the real reason is the folks we meet along the way (many with their dogs) and I desire to pause and chat a bit.
Social distancing and isolation along with working remotely and all the rest
have caused a thirst for human connectedness. People are happy to stop their walking and share a few words whether for the first time or checking-in from last we met. It is wonderful; and it is making me late for Mass!
COVID is causing us to all appreciate one another and relationships we have
taken for granted become more special. “Where I stand …” is more aware of my mortality and the precious gift of life and time. “Where I stand …” is humbly grateful for now having so many items we always took for granted (like toilet paper). “Where I stand …” is frustrated that I have no control over what happens tomorrow and angry that our government is so divided and unresponsive to the poor.
You and I stand in Charlestown (for the most part) and our vision is blurred in these days. This blurry vision causes me to look where I can see more clearly, to focus on that which offers me hope and a path forward: my faith. I firmly believe God is more present than ever in these moments, awaiting our gaze so that we can recognize what truly matters and is life giving. It is and always will be the beautiful sweet mystery of love. See it, seek it, nurture it, cherish it, celebrate it and recall that where love is, there is God.
September 19/20, 2020
From an early age, we tend to distort the concept of “fairness”:
“I am good. I deserve good things. I am not receiving good things. Something must be wrong. Who’s going to fix it?”
We also know the age-old expression: “Who ever said life was fair?”
Jesus knew this expression when he offered his parable in today’s Gospel reading. Christian stewards acknowledge, with humility, that they receive good things from the Lord in abundance; even if these gifts are not the ones they think they need when they need them.
Consider which servants you identify with most in the Gospel reading, the ones who demand “fairness”,
or that final servant who, seemingly, deserves the least.