On the morning of October 17, 1917, 70,000+ persons had gathered in the fields where now stand the buildings that make up the shrine to Our Lady of Fatima. On that day, they witnessed the miracle of the sun, seeing how it broke through the dense clouds, which had drenched the area the night before, and “danced” in the sky, moving in ways that defied cosmic laws and human sensibilities. Newspapers reported it and accounts of the miracle spread throughout the world but… did people believe? Even those who witnessed the spectacle would later ask each other, “What did we see?” The message given to the world by Our Lady of the Rosary was simple: “Pray!” Nearly a hundred years later, we continue to marvel at the spectacle whose reality is without question but… do we believe? Do we heed the words of The Lady and pray the Rosary daily? Do we believe in her Son, the Christ, to whom she directs every message of all her appearances? What does it take for the world to believe what it sees?
Today’s readings are all about seeing and believing. Samuel sees the sons of Jesse and thinks he recognizes the one chosen by God to be king, but the Lord tells him, “Not as man sees does God see, because… the Lord looks into the heart.” (What does God see in my heart?)
St. Paul tells us to Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. (Do I truly believe in Jesus as the Light of the World?)
In the Gospel of the man born blind, John presents us with a stark contrast of seeing and believing. The hearts of the Pharisees are blind to the truth of what they see, but the man who is blind can see Truth with his heart.
We know that appearances can be deceiving, but that does not prevent us from paying more attention to how we appear to others than how we appear to God. We can’t deceive Him, who is all unknowing and all seeing.
All of this should lead each of us to consider 3 questions:
“How do others see me?”
“How do I see myself?” and, most importantly,
“How does God see me?”