Archive for 1 de mayo de 2011

With a clean glance

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had  spoken to him (Luke 22, 61)

I remember having moved to live in a new house, far from my land. I have been received affectionately. People showed me my room, and then I moved through the different places. There was a porch next to the house. I took several walks admiring the rich vegetation. In a strayed corner, a plant had grown. It was big and had some beautiful rosaceous violet flowers.

At lunch, I was asked about my first impressions. I commented on how nice this plant was. One of the diners answered that he had been there for thirty years, and he did not remember having seen that plant. I tried to describe him where it was, what color the flowers were… but he could not distinguish which flowers had captured my attention.

When we finished lunch, we went for a walk around the porch to see the mysterious plant.

— Oh! Yes, it was grown there, but it’s common in these soils. I have not even realized that it was there— the host said. He had walked past it a hundred times, but he had never seen it.

This is what you and I do when we take the Gospel with that easy and arrogant attitude: «Well, I know what it says. I’ve heard about Jesus’s life; there’s nothing new to learn. I’m going to read another book to learn something different and new.»

That friend continued seeing more things. Then, he noted there were many birds, butterflies, and much smell of flowers in the porch… They had always been there, but he had never realized. He had got used to it; and his eyes were blurred by the black carpet of his routine.

Cleaning your glance is an essential condition to understand the Word of God. Otherwise, you would not be able to see what God has prepared for you. Purify your eyes with the collyrium of faith. Humbly ask Jesus what the blind that approached him in the Gospel asked: «Lord, make him see».

To empty the content

Josecito visits me every day, at least some minutes to say hello. Now he is one year old and he walks. As all children, he frequently falls down; but it is wonderful to see how he stands up. It takes him some minutes. We always observe him because it seems that he will not be able to do it; however, little by little and with a bit of suspense, he stands upright, after a number of strange poses. His grandparents cheer him and say:  «Very well, very well!»

As well as adults observe the progresses of the children, their falls, their “foolishness,” Father God observes us. He sees our struggle to walk straight, our falls, and our first steps.

In order to understand the Gospel, it is necessary that we become children again. The child has nothing; he is empty. He is born “clean,” and he learns everything he receives. He needs to be taught even the more basic things. If nobody taught him to speak, he would never learn; if nobody taught him to walk, he would never be able to do it.

Become a child again! Empty your worries and prejudices. Forget that you can read and write, remain empty, “clean,” as new born babies because whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.[1]

I invite you to throw away all the things you know about the Gospel, all your knowledge about Jesus’s life. Forget everything because you are a new born baby who is eager to learn; you are a baby who cannot walk or speak. Now open the Gospel with this attitude, as if it were the first time.

Nothing can be put into a full vessel. First you have to empty it and then you will be able to put something inside. As Jesus used to say: «Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.»[2]

Saint Augustine of Hippo used to say:

To fill a vessel, it first has to be emptied. Shed the evil from you because you are going to be filled with the good. Suppose that God whishes to fill you with honey; if you are full of vinegar, where will you put the honey? The vessel must first be emptied, and then cleansed and freed from the vinegar. This requires hard work and is painful, but it is the only way to prepare it to receive something. And as we say honey, we could have said gold or wine; the fact is that we try to dignify the ineffable: God… enlarge our hearts so that he fills it when he comes.[3]

Now think what is there, inside your heart; examine what is in your mind, and recognize your acts. Throw everything away so that you can be filled with the Word of Jesus.

Reading the Gospel with new eyes means buying the collyrium that will help us to see. Look, observe, think, analyze and learn with that collyrium.

Leave your habits and prejudices away, because now you have the Gospel in your hands for the first time, and you are about to open your eyes to a new reality: the life of Jesus.


Reflect: What do you think about along the day? Who is in your mind for more time? What objects do you love the most? How do you spend your time…?

Write it down in your workbook.

Read carefully a chapter of the Gospel each day, and write down the thoughts that come to your mind after reading.

[1] Cf. Lk 18, 16.

[2] Lk 5, 38.

[3] SAINT AUGUSTINE, Treaty on the first letter of Saint John, n.4

Taken from the book: G. MEIRIÑO, Reading the Gospel with new eyes, Corrientes, 2009, pp. 25-31

Theology Articles

Gumersindo Meiriño


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